Success Teams – The Way People are Getting Hired in the East Bay

March 13, 2010

Those in transition know how difficult it is right now trying to land the next job. It’s even harder trying to do it alone. Sitting in front of your computer, gazing at the same old job postings on scores of job boards is depressing. Worse, those positions you absolutely know you are the perfect fit for, that you’ve crafted the perfect cover letter, tuned your resume to match it, got on their site and spent 30 minutes applying, then… nothing! So what do you do? Repeat the process.

Here’s a better idea, and one that has been working among those who attend Job Connections on Saturday mornings at Danville’s Community Presbyterian Church: Success Teams.

Success teams are groups of 4-7 people who meet regularly each week at a Starbuck’s, library, someone’s home or any designated place. They are usually formed by industry group, age, level, geography or just about any other way people meet.

There are C-Level teams, sales & marketing teams, finance teams, IT teams, Danville (or any other town where members can conveniently meet) teams, or people of a certain age.
It doesn’t really matter what the name of the team is – what does matter is that the people who meet are the ones who get jobs.

Why? There are probably several reasons, but here are a few: The people who get up from their computers and go out and meet others have just raised the odds for themselves. 70% of the jobs offered today are to people who found out about them from someone else, not a job board (that’s the N word – Networking).
Meeting your colleagues on the success team regularly means you are sharing your networks, supporting each other’s searches, and holding each other accountable.

Just like having a work out buddy, you don’t want to let them down, so you show up and keep pushing, sparring and encouraging each other.
In Keith Ferrazzi’s latest book, Who’s Got Your Back, he talks about creating informal networks of people will not let you fail. This is exactly what a success team looks like…these people can become lifelong friends from this shared experience who will be watching your back.

Are you on a success team now? If so, is it one that is positive, supportive and energizing? If not, charge it up yourself. If that doesn’t work, go find another team, or better yet – start your own and handpick the members you want.
Either way, the results speak for themselves: they work.
For information on success teams and where to find them, go to http://jobconnections.org/ or better, attend a Saturday session at 9:00 AM at Community Presbyterian Church, 222 W. El Pintado, Danville, CA. 94526.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1

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Keith Ferrazzi’s Advice for the 50 plus Job Seeker: Develop Your Lifelines

January 14, 2010

With all the current buzz about networking to find jobs instead of the traditional methods, it seemed appropriate to talk with an expert on networking to get a bit more insight on the subject.

I was inspired by a recent post from his blog last week, so Tuesday I spoke with Keith Ferrazzi, NY Times bestselling author of “Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” and “Who’s Got Your Back – The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail”.

Keith is a world renowned keynote speaker and expert in networking and relationship development. In this interview, Keith spoke of the importance for older job seekers (or any job seekers, for that matter) to find their small group of “lifelines” – those special people who are committed to your success and who have “got your back”.

What prompted you to write the book Never Eat Alone?

I was frustrated by the way people were defining networking – some of the basic, core truths were deeply misunderstood – especially by people who were calling themselves networkers. Networking is really about developing deep, meaningful relationships and based on generosity first, not how many contacts you have in your Outlook. So that’s why I wrote Never Eat Alone 7 years ago – and it keeps selling…

What advice would you give to the 50+ job seeker?

As you consider the next lily pad you’re hopping to, more than ever you need to know who your lifelines are. In my book, ‘Who’s Got Your Back’, I note that 50% of the people who were asked ‘Who’s got your back’ couldn’t answer the question. 60% of those who couldn’t answer the question were married! They didn’t even consider that their significant others could be their lifelines – and that’s a problem.

To be successful, you can’t do it alone. You need 2-3 people for your lifelines – to spar with, to hold your hand, to prop you up, to be there for you, to support you, to network with.

And how do you find these lifelines?

The long, slow dinner is one way. Interview the few friends that you think might be there for you – that they’re compatible, have the right personality for you, and vice versa – use this opportunity to test them out – it’s like creating your ‘kitchen cabinet’, your unofficial advisers. Napoleon Hill, author of the classic 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich”, used the term “Master Minds” as that group of people who are your personal advisers and are committed to your success. I like to think the message in my books is the modern day equivalent to Napoleon Hill’s timeless wisdom that we cannot do it alone.

What advice do you have for the 20 something job seeker?

It’s the same! I just gave a talk to a Stanford MBA group and the message was the same you need to establish your lifelines.

What are you most passionate about?

I’ll answer that with this story: I recently spoke at an event and the organizer was worried that the group of very technical people would find the message too soft & fuzzy. Instead, they came away saying that my message about meaningful relationships was deeply impactful. That’s what I’m passionate about – that my message is not just helping people be better professionals, but to be better moms and dad’s and sisters and friends – that they can be better people.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1