There is a spider in my guest bath. He (or she) has built a web in my bathtub. Way down low, by the drain. This is a tiny little spider with a tiny little web. It has been there for a couple of weeks now. I have to wonder if any prey has found its way into his/her web. Obviously, this particular spider lacks some ability to select a prime spot to set up shop. There are very few insects in my guest bath and almost none in my bathtub. I occasionally see a tiny this or that but there are much better locations to catch a lunch. Outside, for instance.
This led me to wonder how long a spider can go without eating. According to Yahoo! ANSWERS:
It depends on the species, but Spiders can go a long, long time without eating. Two weeks is nothing. Many could go months if they had to. By not moving around too much, slowing their metabolism, and not expending any unnecessary energy, they can live a long time without food.
In some ways, this describes my early months after getting laid off. I took what seemed like the safe path. I wanted to find a job at an established company with pay and job title consistent with my years of experience. I put my resume on various job boards and applied for the few near perfect jobs I found there. Despite the fact that we are told over and over that about 1% or 2% of job seekers get their jobs through job boards, most of us take this route. We know that we should be calling everyone we know, driving to a location convenient to them and buying them a cup of coffee or lunch. We should be looking up recruiters on LinkedIn and reaching out to friends of friends. We need to be expending a lot of energy and a fair amount of money for coffee, food, gas, thank you notes, stamps, etc. However, most of us are like that spider. We are doing what we have always done in the hopes that some hapless prey will come our way before we starve. And, we are tightening our belt a little more each month as we see our bank accounts shrinking.
I met with a friend today who is going the exact opposite direction and taking a very active approach. In 2011, he met, face-to-face with 426 people for informational interviews. He spends part of every day looking for recruiters on LinkedIn and connecting with them. Not just any recruiter, but ones that specialize in his line of work. He has become an expert at using the advanced search features on LinkedIn. He has even gone so far as to buy the upgraded LinkedIn service.
Once he connects, he sets up a meeting. He will accept a phone call if that is all he can get, but he prefers to meet face-to-face. He is no spring chicken and he is not exactly eye candy but he is upbeat and positive and genuinely likes people. It comes through when you meet him. His goal is to meet with 25 recruiters every week! Ridiculous? He is doing it.
So what does he say? Simply his 10 second commercial: What he has done and what he is looking for. Then he asks for advice and any additional contacts they might like to share with him.
His strategy is working. He is currently in the advanced stages of interviewing for five jobs. These are senior level jobs….the kind that are the most difficult to get. He has reworked his LinkedIn profile based on the best advice available from David Lanners, a local LinkedIn guru. I have heard Lanners speak on a number of occasions, but my friend met him for coffee, bought him lunch and ended up spending seven hours with him (and taking 18 pages of notes.)
What motivates a guy to go to these lengths when the average job seeker spends an hour a day looking for a job? He was motivated by the same thing that eventually caused that tiny spider to vacate my bathtub drain. Hunger. Not literal hunger, but he drained his savings at a time when his kid was just about ready to start college. It was either find a job or tell his son that he could not go to the college he’d been planning on for the past two years. I had that conversation with my son. It was a hard one. How do you tell your kid that you were not willing to spend 12 hours a day working to make sure their plans for the rest of their life are not interrupted?
If you are at that stage in your job search, check my next blog post. I will share with you some of my friend’s special LinkedIn secrets.
Business Development Director