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Career Advice

Are you guilty of this job hunting sin? I bet you are.

Whether climbing the ladder or hunting for a job, we’re seeing a common sin people inadvertently commit – here’s the fix, ya sinners!

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I was chatting with a friend recently at BASHH, and she said that two weeks ago, she had interviewed at a newer tech company and wasn’t getting any response, post-interview. I immediately opened my phone and looked up the company to see who I know there.

Turns out, I am connected to the CEO and Co-Founder via LinkedIn. I didn’t know they’d started a new venture since we haven’t connected in a while, but at one time we were pretty good pals, so it’s an easy connection to make.

That was last week, and this week, she has gotten the job offer. Mind you, that was all her, she earned the role on her own, but my CEO friend who was simply asked to give her a fair shot had immediately said he’d take a peek (so it likely just sped up an existing process).

But what if that friend had gone to LinkedIn, looked up the company, and reached out to any of her network that had first degree connections?

I asked her why she didn’t do that, and she said she didn’t want to impose or abuse her network.

But friends, let me tell you – THIS IS WHAT NETWORKS ARE FOR.

Sure, some people may be uncomfortable making introductions if they don’t know you OR the first degree connection well, but this is the moment you’ve literally been building your network for and if you don’t use it, you’ve wasted a hell of a lot of time.

So please, please, use LinkedIn before you apply to a role, or just after you’ve applied, but not after you’ve already scratched and clawed your way into an interview and are being ghosted.

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I want you to remember two things:

  1. Use your network. It’s why we all built a network, to help each other, and now it’s your turn to be helped – you’ll turn back around and be a helper quite soon, I promise.
  2. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Lame, but true. So ASK.

What does asking look like? It can be VERY simple, something like “Hey [name], I just applied at [company] and I see you’re connected with [person] – would you be comfortable introducing us or putting in a good word?”

Nothing complicated, and expect that half the time people won’t even see the message in time, let alone make the intro, but keep trying because even one YES is more than you had yesterday.

Remember: You’re NOT an imposition and this is NOT abusing your network. Trust me, there are ways to abuse your network, and this is absolutely not it.

Now stop being so hard on yourself and go get ’em!

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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