The Weak Link Syndrome

The Weak Link Syndrome

The Weak Link Syndrome

You Can’t Find a Job With a Wimpy Career

This is the toughest job market in 100 years, so looking for a job the old fashioned way simply isn’t going to work. What should you do differently? First, you have to build up the strength, endurance and reach of your career and then, only after you’ve done that, can you get out there and compete for the job you want. How do you achieve that necessary level of upfront career fortitude? And equally as important, how can you do so quickly and effectively? The answer is to pay a visit to CareerFitness.com. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, it is a state-of-the-art resource center for successful career self-management and job search. Think of it as “your careerspace” for the 21st Century. Where should you begin? Use the site’s free Career Fitness Evaluation to see how well you’re positioned to survive and prosper in today’s and tomorrow’s turbulent world of work. You’ll also find other insightful assessments and a full featured program for career success at the site, so we hope you’ll take full advantage of all of it and tell your friends and colleagues all about it.

Feature: The Weak Link Syndrome

It was partly my own fault. I realize that now. I naively accepted an invitation on LinkedIn to connect with someone I didn’t know. I did confirm that this person was in the employment field, and since I’m terrible at remembering names, I thought that we may have met at a conference somewhere. I still don’t know whether that’s the case, but as soon as I accepted the invitation, this person started to spam me with email after email about openings he was trying to fill. And therein lies the central problem with LinkedIn, at least as it is currently used by a very large number of people.

LinkedIn advertises itself as a networking tool for professionals. That’s fine. But building up a huge (or even a small) address book of contacts is not networking. In fact, given that networking is actually a form of dialogue that is most appropriately practiced as an integral part of one’s business day, what’s going on at LinkedIn today is best described as “notworking.”

You see, the Golden Rule of Networking is that you have to give as good as you get. It’s fundamentally an exchange of information, ideas, and/or assistance from which both parties derive value. That mutual allocation of benefit establishes familiarity and trust, and those two factors are the twin pillars of a relationship. When networking is working, that’s what it creates-a relationship.

How Do Relationships Happen?

Now, if you’ve ever been in a relationship, you know two things about them. First, you quickly learn that they are hard work. That’s why the word is spelled the way it is: it’s netWORK, not net-get-around-to-it-whenever-you-feel-like-it. And second, you come to appreciate that relationships take time to develop. They don’t happen with the click of a mouse, whether you’re on LinkedIn or Facebook or any other social or professional “networking” site.

And sadly, my connection on LinkedIn understood neither of those points. As he put it when I asked him to stop sending me his intrusive email, “When you linked to me you agreed to receive email notifications and to network with me.”

Well, my friend, that’s not networking. First, you’re not working at building a relationship with me. You’re spamming me with unwanted email. Second, there’s no reciprocity here. All of the value in our interaction accrues to you. You want me to provide the names of people I know for your openings, yet you haven’t taken the time to get to know me or to offer me anything of commensurate value. You aren’t giving as good as you get. You’re just taking what’s useful to you.

Now, I’ve heard the stories about people finding a job through their LinkedIn contacts. That’s great. But those situations are the exception to the rule. There are more than 36 million people with profiles on Linked, and most have fewer than 10 contacts. In other words, they’ve checked off the online Social/Professional networking box on their to-do list-they’ve joined the latest and greatest job search tool for the 21st Century-but they haven’t done anything with it. They aren’t investing the time and effort required to build up their Web of relationships or enrich them.

I call this situation the Weak Link Syndrome. It produces two harmful consequences.

  • First, a lot of people in transition who have now joined professional networking sites believe they’ve strengthened their ability to find a new or better job, and they haven’t. They think they’re using a state-of-the-art tool to enhance their personal performance, and they aren’t. They’re wasting their time and talent fiddling with a technology-online professional networking-that isn’t working for them.
  • Second, the absence of so many job seekers networking effectively online has created a vacuum. And into that vacuum has flowed a crowd of individuals who are happy to misuse the system. Like my former connection on LinkedIn, they are clueless about the true nature of networking and feel entitled to use some malformed version of their own. And that misappropriation of the online networking experience diminishes it for everyone else.
  • So, what do I recommend? I think we have just two options. We can either devote the time and energy necessary to extend our online professional networks far beyond their current meager limits and then transform those contacts into genuine relationships or we should abandon the sites that are supposed to nurture them and turn our time and talent to more productive activities. As the old truism notes, it’s not worth doing something unless you’re going to do it right.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    Follow me on Twitter at PeterWeddle

    P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.

    This Issue’s Sponsor: Work Strong

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, Peter Weddle’s new book on how to condition your career for job search success and fulfillment at work.

    Designed specifically for the challenging workplace of the 21st Century:

    Work Strong not only tells you what to do for career success, but when, where and how to do it.

  • Career Fitness includes both a revolutionary philosophy of work and a regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities that empower you to apply that philosophy to your career.
  • Using physical fitness as a metaphor, it introduces an approach to career self-management that is appropriate for everyone from senior executives and seasoned professionals to recent graduates and those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.
  • Work Strong helps you tap both sides of your brain in learning how to build a healthy career.

  • It encourages you to use your reasoning ability on the left side of your brain by presenting all of the information you need to Work Strong in your career. That’s The Career Fitness System
  • It also encourages you to use your creative ability on the right side of your brain by presenting a fictional account of what it would be like to Work Strong. That’s The Diary of a Career Activist.
  • In today’s world of work, you have only two choices: you can be the master of your career or you can be its victim. Get the tools you need to take charge of the one-third or more of your life you spend at work. Get Work Strong today! You’ll increase the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work!

    But don’t forget about others. Get Work Strong for yourself and for your spouse, your sons or daughters and even for your mother and father. Everyone deserves to Work Strong. To place your order, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    News Item #1

    WorldatWork, the Total Benefits Association, released the results of a survey regarding pay raises in today’s difficult economic climate. Surprisingly, it found that employers are handing out raises this year and, on average, those raises are equal to 3.1 percent of base salary. Only one-in-ten of the 1,000 organizations that responded to the survey said they were eliminating raises altogether. What does that mean for you? If you’re in transition, ask the organizations to which you are applying if they are providing raises to their employees this year. It’s probably best to wait until the interview or at least until the employer has expressed an interest in you before you make this inquiry. Posed correctly, however, your question will provide a useful criterion with which to evaluate the organization’s financial health and its commitment to caring for the talent it employs. Similarly, if you’re not in transition, your employer’s ability and willingness to provide a pay raise, even in tough times, will give you an effective way to assess its future prospects and commitment to you.

    News Item #2

    If you’re searching for more meaning in your career, if you want the time you spend on-the-job to be more fulfilling and rewarding for you, then read Peter Weddle’s new book Recognizing Richard Rabbit. It’s a gentle way to figure out your dreams.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults from 22 to 62 and older. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it opens the door to genuine self exploration. It is a story about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self.

    How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you were meant to be.

    Why is that so important? Because whether you are a mid-career professional or a first time job seeker, whether you are a senior executive or a skilled tradesperson, whether you are actively looking for a job or just keeping your options open, the key to success is a sure understanding of who you are and what you stand for. So, make sure you know the authentic You. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.

    News Item #3

    WEDDLE’s publishes the perfect job search tool for hard times-an inexpensive, quick and easy-to-use series of guides to the best job boards and career portals online. Think of them as the CliffsNotes to career success on the Internet. Called WEDDLE’s WIZNotes-Fast Facts on Job Boards, each book includes compact, but complete profiles of the key sites that specialize in a specific career field or employment situation. There are WIZNotes for:

  • Sales & Marketing professionals,
  • Finance & Accounting professionals,
  • Engineers,
  • Human Resource professionals,
  • Scientists
  • Women Professionals
  • Managers & Executives,
  • and

  • Recent Graduates.
  • Plus

  • Finding a Job on the Web
  • Writing a Great Resume
  • All you have to do is select the WIZNotes that’s right for you. Each volume has exactly the information you need to find the right job boards and career portals for you. And best of all, at $12.95 each, WEDDLE’s WIZNotes are a bargain to boot! Get one for yourself and one for your spouse or partner, son or daughter, friend or colleague or boss. They’re helpful to any and everyone regardless of their years of experience. To order your WIZNotes, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Order today!

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    Absolutely Health Care

    http://www.healthjobsusa.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: National: USA

    Number of jobs: 345,000

    Salary levels of jobs: $201-250K/year, $250K+/year

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: Those in the field

    Other services for job seekers: Discussion forum for networking, Assessment instruments, Career information, Links to other sites with career information

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    Get Work Strong Today!

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, Peter Weddle’s new book on how to condition your career for job search success and fulfillment at work.

    Designed specifically for the challenging workplace of the 21st Century:

    Work Strong not only tells you what to do for career success, but when, where and how to do it.

  • Career Fitness includes both a revolutionary philosophy of work and a regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities that empower you to apply that philosophy to your career.
  • Using physical fitness as a metaphor, it introduces an approach to career self-management that is appropriate for everyone from senior executives and seasoned professionals to recent graduates and those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.
  • Work Strong helps you tap both sides of your brain in learning how to build a healthy career.

  • It encourages you to use your reasoning ability on the left side of your brain by presenting all of the information you need to Work Strong in your career. That’s The Career Fitness System
  • It also encourages you to use your creative ability on the right side of your brain by presenting a fictional account of what it would be like to Work Strong. That’s The Diary of a Career Activist.
  • In today’s world of work, you have only two choices: you can be the master of your career or you can be its victim. Get the tools you need to take charge of the one-third or more of your life you spend at work. Get Work Strong today! You’ll increase the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work!

    But don’t forget about others. Get Work Strong for yourself and for your spouse, your sons or daughters and even for your mother and father. Everyone deserves to Work Strong. To place your order, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!