Often times people feel hesitant to ask other people for help with a job search. Typically, they are uncomfortable whether asking for advice, potential leads for job opportunities, or more directly, for a position within that person’s firm.
Let me put these apprehensions to rest. By and large, people really enjoy being asked for assistance in this situation and are happy to do what they can.
Just about everyone has needed, asked for, or received assistance with their career at some point. And absolutely everyone was faced with finding their first position.
People you are approaching are comfortable with the process and know what to expect. Here’s an example that illustrates what I mean.
When my son, Alex, was a college student, he hesitated about asking a neighbor he actually knew fairly well about a summer position as an intern. The neighbor was the CEO of a 50-person marketing firm. To help him overcome his reticence, I suggested that he alter his approach slightly, and just ask for advice about careers in marketing. When Alex asked, “Would you be willing to speak to me about what it looks like working in marketing?” our neighbor CEO replied, “Are you looking for a summer internship?” It was that simple. People are aware of what is behind these inquiries and are not the least bit put out by being asked. It actually reinforces the feeling for them of personal satisfaction, that they are viewed as someone who has something to offer. Oh, and also, Alex did subsequently get hired for the summer position and for a full-time position after he graduated, which led him to a future career in marketing.
People are often looking for staff, including entry level staff. And they welcome the opportunity to consider new people for their firm.
In this above example, the CEO regularly looked for young people as summer interns. And he frequently brought interns on board full-time when they graduated. For companies, the challenge can be to find appropriate, interested candidates for their entry level positions. This practice allows the CEO to continuously build a pipeline of such candidates. Reaching out and seeking advice benefitted not only Alex, but the neighbor CEO as well. Win-win.
Job seekers often can’t fathom that companies who are looking for people can find it as frustrating to find people as they find it to find a job.