A few days ago…I had a delightful conversation with a professional who thought she’d landed a new opportunity…more like her next BIG GIG. As she gave me the details about this connection (with a hiring manager she met at a professional association meeting) her face glowed. I could hear the excitement in her voice. Honestly, I was expecting her to reenact Tom Cruise and jump on the sofa as the actor did during that memorable interview on the Oprah Winfrey show. Remember his face? That’s exactly how this lady looked as she described the dialogue…
The next morning she followed up with the hiring manager (as the two agreed) only to be told “got your resume…will pass it on to the hiring manager.” That brought an anticlimactic conclusion to the meeting. WOMP! WOMP! WOMP! WOMP! Talk about a kill joy. Unfortunately, I’ve heard this story before. In fact, I’ve lived this sad story. It’s devastating (especially in this depressed economy) for directors, managers, recruiters and others to make false promises. Networking isn’t an easy task. Sometimes, its very difficult to create what career coaches call warm connections. So, don’t pretend to be warm if you’re cold…as ice!
- Don’t lead people on. Remember what your parents told you about relationships. The same message goes for professional networking events.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Have some for internal employees AND external organizational members. And have the decency to respond to people who followup with you about opportunities.
- Don’t misrepresent your level of authority. If you don’t have the power to hire then don’t tell job seekers you can. More importantly, don’t misrepresent your organization at professional association events.
- Build relationships by being honest. If there are no vacancies…say that. When there are alignment issues with the candidate and the opening…tell folks. IF you can…try to recommend them to another leader or organization that better suit their skills.
For those of you who are beating the pavement, pushing, calling, emailing, faxing, tweeting, facebooking, link(endin)ing don’t allow the kill joy(s) to keep you down. Try not to rehash the events in your mind. Don’t question yourself. Know that you are talented. And will be rewarded for your perseverance.