Debra Feldman
Recession Job Market Secrets

Find a new job in the hidden job market.

May 21, 2009
by Debra Feldman

Does the concept of job leads/expansion via increasingly greater numbers pique your interest? The notion of expansion in a geometric progression fascinates many financial and accounting executives because it has such an explosive impact. It appeals to one’s sense of an ever enlarging world and brings to mind the image of a pebble hitting a pond with the sound waves spreading out in circles from the point of impact.

So what does throwing rocks into an aquatic ecosystem have to do with finding a job? Where is the connection? Simple, just as the water keeps rippling and spreading out, your professional network has to continue to seep outside original boundaries in order for you to be successful in obtaining leads to new opportunities. If you tell everyone — and I mean everyone you know — that you are in the job market you still would not be able to broadcast far enough. You need to go beyond your immediate circle of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, service providers and colleagues, to spread your message beyond anyone with whom you have direct contact.

Why? Because these people already know you need help finding a job and if they could, they would be sharing leads with you. For your search to progress, you need to get in touch with people who you don’t already know. In fact, your goal should be to meet and talk about new career opportunities with individuals that even those you already know don’t know. And do this continually, meeting new contacts, making connections, sharing information and ideas so that lots of highly qualified individuals whom you respect, reciprocate, by having you on their radar for when a new job lead matching your qualifications appears on their screens.

Six Degrees of Separation in the Job Market

In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes about six degrees of separation and the origin of this common phenomenon. He describes how a large number of individuals ultimately got connected to one other person by just a very few, surprisingly connected individuals that provided a common link. He speaks about how certain persons proved to be centers of communication because in any network of connected individuals, there are pivotal persons who know a lot of other people.

In career planning and proactive career management, it has been shown that there are certain especially well-connected individuals who deserve a special value position for being able to best make the critical connections to grow your career. They can introduce you to more of the people you need to know than if you randomly select someone and ask them to introduce you around their network. In other words, if you network purposefully with the “right” chosen individuals, those who are connected to others in your targeted network and explain your interests compellingly enough for them to want to assist you, then your network-building efforts will pay off better than if you just happen to know a lot of people a little bit. Makes sense, doesn’t it? In other words, dig your well or build your networking foundation before you decide to be a job hunter. Decide in advance where you might need connections and purposefully begin the chain of introductions to get to know people at companies that might offer future employment opportunities.

How should you apply these keen networking insights to improve your potential job search results? First of all, recognize that whom you tell you are looking for a job is as important as what you tell them. Effective networking has two main components: communicating your message clearly by describing your value proposition to an employer in simple but incontrovertible terms, i.e., what makes you unique, and communicating with those who will agree to help you get further connected. You should focus your efforts on those who will be generous in suggesting additional introductions so that you are privy to restructurings and other events impacting organizations that produce new challenges and need new resources like yourself. Just remember that to be the fortunate recipient of great tips, you need to return the favor and pass the good news along.


If you strategically, purposefully and proactively focus your networking on those who can:

  • Offer you a job or
  • Know a lot of other people who can make you a job offer.

then your job search is bound to progress forward more swiftly.

Successful financial and accounting executives don’t network randomly with a hit or miss attitude. They networking in activities in which winners are participate. By targeting your efforts in a narrow segment whether geographically or in terms of specialization, chances are improved for establishing multiple connections to individuals. Once there is a critical mass of individuals all knowing you and wanting to help, a faster and better campaign results. When one person mentions you as a possible resource and another recognizes your name, that essential element of credibility is established, making you less of an outsider, unknown quantity or a risk.

Let the job leads begin!

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© Debra Feldman, 2009

Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic, and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for cold calling, executed with high energy and savvy panache, connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Network Purposefully™ with the JobWhiz, and compress your job search into mere weeks, using groundbreaking techniques soon to be profiled in Forbes magazine and featured in an upcoming syndicated television series. In addition to writing columns and conducting workshops for several revered professional associations, Debra provides career guidance to alumni of top-tier business schools. Contact Debra at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent.