I am tremendously bad at networking. This is ironic because I love to talk and usually have no trouble meeting people. As anyone who knows me in person or from Twitter knows, I can talk about my kids, my pets, books, what’s on TV, yap yappity yap yap all day long. Yet put a business card in my hand and I clam up. (I’m trusting you not to use this knowledge for evil, a.k.a. tell my husband.)
I have a difficult time talking to people if I want something from them. I feel and act awkward: I don’t know how to go about it. I love Avon products and have tried to be an Avon rep twice, but I can’t do it. I feel bad asking people to buy things.
All this is groundwork for me asking you to do something (but it won’t cost a dime): join the JobAngels movement. JobAngels is an online network of professionals, each committed to helping just one person find a job. It was started less than a month ago by HR professional (and Twitter friend of mine) Mark Stelzner over his morning bowl of cornflakes. Not one of us can individually fix “the unemployment problem,” but each of us could try to connect one unemployed person with a job opportunity. Imagine if all of us did just that.
Earlier this evening I contacted three people (current and former colleagues) and asked them directly if they knew of job opportunities in their field on behalf of a JobAngels job seeker. This was a huge step for me, but I know people who network so naturally they could do that with one eye open while hitting the snooze button at 6:00 AM. Are you one of them? Could you help one person find a job?