Alpaca is still looking for a job - it's been a few months now, which is not surprising in these economically challenging times. On Tuesday I met for breakfast with an old friend who works for a venture capital firm. We were chatting about our families and I mentioned Alpaca's job hunt. My friend immediately asked what kind of job she was looking for, and after I explained he asked me to forward her resume to him by email. I did, and a few hours later he sent an e-mail introducing Alpaca to all the partners in his well respected VC firm. Later that day, one of the partners sent Alpaca an e-mail. Yesterday they spoke on the phone and a few hours later he introduced her by e-mail to the CEO of one of their portfolio companies that had recently raised funds and that was looking for help on the marketing side. I don't know if this will end in anything concrete, but it's definitely a step in the right direction, yes?
Saying that networking is the key to finding a job is an old cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true. Which belatedly brings me to the topic of this post: in business school I took a class in building distribution channels. The professor explained that making your sales targets is largely the function of two parameters: (i) the efficiency of your sales channel; and (ii) its effectiveness. Efficiency is the number of customer contacts you make - or how many sales calls you make. Your effectiveness is a measure of how successful you are in converting each customer contact. Calculating your success is a simple multiplication exercise: how many customer contacts you have, multiplied by your success rate with each contact.
Today it struck me that success in a job search is subject to the exact same performance metrics. Your success is a combination of the number of job interviews you land (or the number of random networking contacts you make), and of your ability to convert those interviews (or random networking contacts) into job offers.
The implication for this is simple: you just need to be out there and meet with as many people as possible. Even if you are a particularly poor batter, if you take enough swings sooner or later you will hit a home run. The important thing is to keep swinging no matter how many times you miss the ball.
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