Career Advice, Interviews

How Important Are Your Friends In Finding Your Next Job?

A very close friend or mine acknowledges that four of the six jobs in his career came from me referring him to recruiters who had called me on the position and I passed my buddy’s contact information to them.  Once a year, around the anniversary date of another friend’s hire date, I get a note from him thanking me for referring him for the job he has now. It has turned out to be his dream job.

The job that got my career going was a referral from my roommate who didn’t get hired at Frito-Lay and told the recruiter in the debrief call (where he got dinged) that I was the type of person that she should call for the job.  That ended up being a ten-year run for me. I would guess that there are many of you who have similar stories of where you either have been referred by a friend and got the job, or you helped a friend get a job.  Friends may be the most important connection you have to your next dream job.  That would mean that we all should be much more thoughtful and deliberate about how we help our friends help us and vice versa.  Consider these thoughts:

  • Do your friends really know what is your dream job? It seems like they should, but do they really?  Have you told them that if they get a call for any one of the 10 dream companies, doing “this”, in XYZ location, that you would like them to send the recruiter your way?  If you stop and think about it, you know a lot of people who get great headhunter calls that would help you out if only you asked.

  • Do you know your friend’s dream job? If you want help from others, help them first. It doesn’t take too many calls or emails before your friends will be helping you out, because they keep getting great referrals from you.  Consider that you can spark the fire by doing good for others.
  • Do you keep track of your friends and what they are doing now? I recently got a note on Facebook from a childhood friend who asked if we could spend a few minutes talking on the phone about an idea he had.  We hadn’t talked in at least 25 years, but it was so easy on the phone when we connected.  A few minutes after reminiscing and catching up on the health of our parents, etc., he told me about the company that he and his brother founded, which he now runs as CEO.  I listened in amazement about his $100 million dollar plus revenue company that is poised with their new contracts to grow ten-fold in the next five years.  He asked me if I could come speak to his team and provide some consulting time to them.  I never would have guessed that he was doing so well and that I could help him out.  Doing a little cross-matching of your old friends on LinkedIn could yield some productive contacts for you.

I would love to hear, as I am sure others would, your stories of how you have been helped by friends or you have helped them find their next job!