I realize that, in the interest of having some books featured in here, from time to time I’ve put in books which are not particularly pertinent to the job search per se (although they may have bearing on my job search), so I’m always happy to bring you something that does has direct bearing on the core subject of The Job Stalker!
Although not primarily a book for the job seeker, Gordon S. Curtis’ Well Connected: An Unconventional Approach to Building Genuine, Effective Business Relationships does address the area of looking for work as one application of the author’s “Right Person – Right Approach” method for networking, which is presented here. This is a discipline for focusing one’s efforts through a particular set of steps … articulate your objective, identify the “critical enabler”, and develop reciprocity … which creates a very direct path to those who can get one to one’s goals. Again, the method is applied to a wide range of business activities, not just to looking for that next job, but at least a couple of examples are given for this being applied to the job search.
Here (after the cut) is The Job Stalker interview with Gordon S. Curtis:
Q: Briefly, what’s your background
A: For the past sixteen years I have been an executive transition coach and agent helping hundreds of senior executives succeed in finding, starting, buying, selling, funding, and growing companies. Prior, I was director of career services and alumni relations for Boston College Graduate School of Management, senior consultant at Right Management Consulting, and executive search consultant for ten years at beginning of my career.
Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?
A: I believe every job-transition is notable. For me, the shift from being a headhunter to being an executive coach and agent was the most significant. Doing so allowed me to integrate all my skills, interests and values. This transition also enabled me to formulate, hone and integrate the Well Connected approach into everything I do.
Q: Why did you decide to write a book about networking?
A: I wrote Well Connected because I was frustrated with the amount of time and energy I saw my clients and others devoting to networking with so little results. Time wasted at conferences, professional association meetings, on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter seemed so unproductive to me. Even more proactive and directed calls and emails to people they wanted something from generated such relatively poor outcomes. I didn’t buy-in to the notion that all this networking time was just the cost of doing business. I knew from experience that there was better way by uncovering the secret elements of the most productive networking exchanges. Having researched 1000s of networking introductions I had facilitated and/or witnessed I found the exact elements that made some exchanges blockbuster and some bombs. Once Well Connected was refined to the point I could stage remarkably productive introductions for my clients, I knew the world had to know about it. It answered the burning social networking question between quantity and quality.
Q: How would somebody in a job search best use your “Right Person – Right Approach” method to land a new position?
A: That question is easy to answer given the Well Connected proving ground was client’s job search campaigns. And job search is arguably one of the most challenging of career hurdles. First, one must develop extremely clear target organization criteria. Secondly, they must determine who makes it their business to have the relationships with and intelligence about those organizations necessary for gaining penetration and differentiation with decision makers. Lastly, they must approach those “critical enablers in a progressively reciprocal way that motivates them to help you when they wouldn’t help others. That’s the Well Connected approach for job search, in a nutshell.
Q: If you had just ONE piece of advice for today’s job searcher, what would that be?
A: Focus. Focus on what you want. Focus on who can really help you. Focus on progressive techniques for motivating them to help.
Q: What do you feel makes your book unique?
A: Among all the books about networking, Well Connected was specifically designed to be the first easily applied by all readers. It redefines and greatly builds upon certain classic concepts within the context of our new, social networking world. Well Connected provides the secret/antidote to an era where people are succumbing to the false assumption and sense of security that whoever dies with the most connections wins. And finally, it takes the fundamental notion of obligatory reciprocity to a whole new level where enormous, measurable results can be predictable and expected.
Q: Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?
A: Other people. Others, in and outside of our networks, are the most underutilized resource available towards achieving our business and career objectives. I even see good friends not being able to help other good friends simply because they weren’t asked for help, or because they weren’t asked in the right way. Learning the Well Connected approach for fully capitalizing on the select few, right people in the right way can be transformative, even turning strangers into tremendous resources.
Q: Any additional words of wisdom?
A: It is not the best person who lands the job. However, it is the person who does the best job searching who lands the position. Well Connected shows you how.
Now, as is evident from my review, I did have issues with certain aspects of “Right Person – Right Approach” method, especially in regards to people (like me) who do not have a particularly well-defined “objective” (aside from the obvious “find a job”), but I can certainly see where these techniques would be quite useful for those with more focus in their goals. This disconnect made the book a somewhat irritating read for me, but I’m guessing that I’m not in the majority in that, and that most readers will find this very helpful.