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Find Your Tribe, Find Your Career

Did you know that you’re ten times more likely to be hired if you were referred by one of your colleagues?

It doesn’t matter how great your resume might be.

It doesn’t matter what your skills and talents are.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked in the industry.

Well . . . there are some prices of entry . . .

but what really matters?

It’s getting a recommendation from someone who knows you.

In today’s changing career climate, where downsizing is rampant across industries, at all levels; with AI taking over more and more of the roles of people, where recruiting is done by bots when live bodies are needed [doesn’t that seem odd?]; with the high rise of outsourcing at low rates, it’s far harder to find your new position.

If you do make it through a bot, you’re likely to be interviewed by a video app that reads your facial expressions and rules you out if you show the wrong expressions or feelings.

Really? Do you know how many people are uncomfortable on camera?!

If the job does not entail being a TV star, the video evaluation is likely to result in false negatives..

When I started out, fresh out of college, I met with recruiters in Manhattan, chose the one who I thought would be most helpful and started a relationship. Steve asked me lots of questions, helped me narrow down my job search, gave me pointed suggestions on how to write my resume [truthfully, he wrote it with a few additions from me], trained me on how to present in the interview, practiced interviewing with me and got me into a number of opportunities. Steve was my advocate. He did the heavy lifting, basically all I had to do was show up and strut my stuff which I had rehearsed with him many times. I had 3 job offers in the period of 2 months and chose the one I thought offered the best growth opportunity.

It’s a different world. In today’s job market, both companies and candidates are struggling to make the right connection without the benefit of the recruiters of 25 - 30 years ago. Having a good contact who knows the position and how you could enhance it and blossom yourself is a win-win.

Your social and professional networks are the most important piece of any career change.

But what if you don’t know the right people?

Exchanging business cards and LinkedIn connections are generally useless. The people who share are often in a worse position than you are and will have no impact on your job search.

The people who make a difference are your Tribe.

Your tribe is composed of those who will get you through your career update. It’s reciprocal. You can call on each other for ideas, for an introduction or some advice over coffee. You might be helping yourself or a friend through your tribe community. In days gone by there were barn raising communities where everyone helped each other.

The whole is greater than the sum. The tribe’s strength helps each member succeed at their goals, in this case finding a position that works.

The tribe you choose that most supports your success makes you feel a sense of belonging, validation and self-worth. These feelings are a function of shared values, beliefs, activities, aspirations and interests.

How do you find your tribe?

First, assess your friends, your Facebook and Linked In buds. Well . . .are they buds? What do you have in common that is meaningful to you and them? What do you know about them that might invite a common goal or value or interest? People love to connect on their interests.

Which of those, if any, could you approach in your search?

Think about how to build your connection. When’s the last time you reached out to say hi? Send a short note to catch up. Tell them a little about something you have in common.

Build a Linked In or Facebook group on your shared interests. Provide information and events they might find interesting.

Look for those in your local area and invite them to get together – with you, or as a group that supports your shared interests. I’ll bet more than a couple are also considering a career change. You can help each other.

The worst part of looking for your next role, especially at professional and executive levels, is a sense of isolation. It’s lonely. We are meant to be part of a community with shared values. Alone, we can feel outcast and compromised.

The power of the tribe is to bolster each member’s sense of self, value to the group and the world at large. Others see your strengths even more than you can and want to see you thrive.

You’ve got this.

Go out and find your tribe.

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