A few years back, when I graduated college, I was looking for my first “REAL JOB.”
This happened to correspond when our economy was horrible just after the whole financial collapse. The stock market went belly up and I was under the impression that no one was hiring.
I was getting ready to graduate, and my next goal was to land a job and be a real grown up!
I remember I would spend SO MUCH TIME updating and fixing my resume. Once I felt confident, I would proceed to apply to as many jobs as possible – praying for a couple of hits or call backs.
The reality was I would not get that many call backs! After having a lack of success, I would head back to the drawing board – basically updating my resume and applying to more jobs!
This process was incredibly time-consuming – most of my time was spent in my house thinking of the best way was to make my resume better!
The cycle kept repeating itself: apply, poor results, update resume, and apply again.
Yes, I did land some interviews and even an offer or two! But the offers were from companies that I honestly did not want to work for. Since I was SPAMMING resume applications all over the place – praying for a job…any job!
Once, I went into the job interview, I would spend some time researching the company and come to the realization that I did not want to work at the company or do this position. I needed something that would excite me to wake up in the morning; I wanted something more than just a paycheck!
The companies that I was interested in; I would never hear back. Most of the time not even a rejection letter stating that they decided to pursue other candidates. Did my application get lost in some sort of “black hole?”
How I Got My Job Without Applying For Any
I saw one of my college roommates working for a prestigious company on Wall Street making tons of money. I couldn’t believe it – he did not come from an Ivy League or fancy school. How did he get a job like that? He went to school on the west coast – far away from NYC!
Being frustrated at how it seemed like others had it better than me – I went back to my normal routine:
apply, poor results, update resume, and apply again!
Finally, after one extremely long day, I took some time to reflect what was going on in my life. I started to think that maybe I should do something different.
I decided to call up my old roommate and ask him how he landed his job.
His advice hit me hard!
His approach was that he reached out to everyone he could find in his industry working in NYC. He would cold email them with the hopes to chat with them. He kept reaching out to these people in these large firms to discuss finance, the market, how they got in the industry, and a bunch of other great thought provoking questions.
These meetings led him to being able to schedule a couple phone calls with the “RIGHT PEOPLE.”
Eventually, he was flown out to NYC and secured one of these jobs! He hustled his way into his dream job through networking and talking with anyone in the industry he could. It dawned on me that everything I was doing was completely wrong!
The old saying immediately came to my mind: “It’s not what you know, but who you know!”
Networking My Way To A Job
Finally, I got it. I knew was changes I needed to make.
I decided to get out of my house and start networking with anyone I could. I created a list of 10-15 companies I wanted to work for and looked to talk with anyone I could in those firms.
Reaching out to people cold can be very difficult especially in the beginning, but if your approach is right you will be surprised how many people will actually meet with you! Do not under any circumstance go in asking for a job. You need to focus on learning about the person and the company they work at – build a genuine connection with them!
I was able to meet with Vice Presidents and actually some other high-level executives. I felt like a kid asking so many questions in the meeting. Over time, the meetings got easier and I was not as nervous.
I started establishing some good connections by asking great questions about their companies, the challenges they were currently facing, and how they got where they were today!
I was getting information that I WOULD NEVER GET FROM AN INTERVIEW! I was astonished to learn that most of them landed jobs through other connections they had. They were not wasting time applying to jobs!
By networking, I was able to tap into other’s people network and make introductions with the RIGHT PEOPLE and bypass the people that do not matter (the computer programs evaluating your resumes and recruiters who are checking boxes on applicants.)
I was even getting calls from companies that I did not apply too – they would tell me, I got your name from X and was wondering if you would like to come and chat about a position we are looking to hire. These would be from Vice President’s – I could not believe it!
After a solid month and half of networking, emailing hundreds of people, and meeting with a good chunk of people, I took a finance job at one of the most prestigious tech firms in the industry!
The experience I gained was enormous and I have never looked back!
The best job approach is networking – stop spending your time applying to jobs at home and get out there. Happy Networking!