I have kicked around this idea for ages – writing something about how we progeeks with jobs can help those without. I finally figured I'd do it as a series of blog posts and see how it goes. Yeah, you know me, sometimes I need to just try an idea out and not dither so much.
We've been there before. We know people out of work and we want to help, yet it's frustrating at the same time. There seems to be an infinite amount we can do, yet we're not sure where to start – and what will work.
I've been in your position. I've had many friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and so on have issues with unemployment. So I'm going to be writing up individual things you can try, bite-sized morsels of advice to help your friends and family out in their job search.
First? Pro-Active networking.
I'm not talking the networking of waiting for someone to ask you for help. The people who need your assistance may be busy, shellshocked, or just aren't doing networking right now. You can help by doing some of it for them.
You know your connections. You know the people who need your aid. Start hooking them up as soon as you can:
- Introduce them to people you know well via a "traded" email – send them and your contact a mutual email to introduce them.
- Look through your LinkedIn contacts and similar contact lists and see if there's anyone that can help or that they should know. Think ahead.
- Send then a list of recruiters you have (You do keep a recruiter list, right? If you're a regular here you know I emphasize it).
- Introduce them to anyone at your current job they should meet – but only if you're sure they would be an appropriate co-worker. Just because you're friends doesn't mean you can work together.
Some friends might get annoyed that you're "getting ahead of them." I think the risk is worth it – go through your contacts and see who can help. Better to ask forgiveness than permission in this economy.
In fact, may I reccomend pro-actively networking period? You never know when it'll come in handy . . .