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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lending a Helping Hand to Job Seekers

It’s human nature that people want to help people. So it was no surprise to learn from a recent Right Management study of 528 North American workers that nine out of ten employees are willing to help a friend or acquaintance search for a new job. In fact, most of them have done so in the past year.

The survey found that people who already have jobs are nearly always prepared to give time or other support to those who ask it. The finding has never been truer than today based on our experience as career advisors. Unemployment is high and so is overall dissatisfaction in the workplace, according to recent research. Job seekers include both unemployed and employed who are looking for better opportunities. The good news is that they may rely on people’s genuine willingness to help in their hunt for a new position.

A clear majority of jobs are found via person-to-person contact, not the Internet or job boards. Another of Right Management’s studies found that as many as two out of three jobs come by way of networking, where people in one’s network help to put the job seekers in touch with others who may also be able to help. This is a key fundamental of effective job searching. The new finding indicates that the job seekers will almost always receive positive responses from people whom they contact.

Job seekers should ask for insight into specific organizations or industries. The job search is all about approaching individuals to build a network of more people who may be able to help. It’s a continuous process, person-to-person to the next person. The goal is to get names and contact information in order to go the next step. This works because people are disposed to help, even if they themselves don’t happen to know of a suitable opening. But they’ll often know of someone who may be able to help in the process.

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