Friends and family can help an over 50 find a job, but rarely will
As an older worker, who will find you a job? Your large network of acquaintance, here’s how…
Many people know how important friends are in helping you find a job. But when asked which friends are most valuable, most say ‘close friends and family’. Wrong.
Two women talking to one another
People close to you largely know the same people you do, so they hear of the same opportunities. Loose connections are the most beneficial – that is, those who move in different circles. There are of course more of them, particularly amongst the over 45s who have had a lot more time to build these loose connections. When you are actively seeking a job, you need to find ways to stay in touch with this broader circle and find ways, however small, to help them out.
What else is wrong with your close friends? They are not good ambassadors for you anyway. Firstly they may be viewed as biased, and may lack objectivity as they are too close to you.
As introducers most of your friends will suck. As a recruiter, I am often asked to help friends with a comment like “I’d appreciate it if you could meet Sue who’s a good friend – she really needs a job, can you help her?”
There are a hundred better ways that Sue could be introduced that would make me more likely to want to talk to this stranger. Saying she is desperate or appealing to my good nature doesn’t cut it!
Power of loose connections in stopping age discrimination in the workplace – image of many people connected.
Final comments on how to use your friends for job seeking…
They never know what you really want to do or what your ideal future job looks like. It is human nature to assume our friends know, but they rarely do. Ask 5 friends – it would be unusual if you didn’t get 4 or 5 different answers to what your ideal next job looks like.
Most people go to close friends first when they have been retrenched… when they’re emotional and unclear on what to do with the next stage of their lives. So wait, think and clear your mind. Then give your friends a very brief update on what you’re looking for. Then ask to meet their loose connections, the people most likely to be able to help you.