Networking is a continuous process:
I've been an active member of a professional organization for the last ten years. I maintain this membership for many reasons, but my primary goal is networking. What many new members do not understand is that relationships are developed over time. I have seen new recruits join our organization, attend a meeting or two, distribute their business cards to every member present, then quit when that great job offer does not materialize in a month or two.
I received a call this week from a recruiter whose membership I have mentored in this organization for at least three years. She was recruiting for a great position that paid an excellent salary with a company known as one of the best places to work in the Milwaukee area.
She thought of me, after the employer specifically requested someone with a pleasant personality. I was flattered, this was the second time a recruiter from this organization had thought of me for a position because of my personality. I attribute this to working closely with them on committees within the organization. It is not always easy for me to talk up my attributes, but it is easy for them to see my real personality and work ethic after working closely with me.
Unfortunately I had to turn her down. This company is located 45 miles from my home; I am not fond of long commutes or in a position to relocate. I did refer her to two other accountants who would also make great candidates for the position. I asked that she keep me in mind for future positions. I followed up by thanking her again for thinking of me, and forwarding her my resume.
What else I learned from her:
While discussing her business, she mentioned one unsettling experience. A candidate she placed with a company nine months ago had recently called requesting she find her another position. Feeling this was unethical she refused.
This reminded me of the recruiter who placed me with my current firm nine years ago. Since then, I have pretty much entrusted her with my job search. We meet a couple times each year to talk about my current company and discuss my career goals. She is instructed to call me if she sees a position that may be of interest to me. In thinking back, her firm (not her) has called me only once in nine years with an open position. I can't help but think my recruiter’s loyalty is really with my employer who has provided her with a paycheck. It is a good thing I have not been overly serious about changing jobs, but by entrusting her almost exclusively with my job search I may have missed out on some great opportunities.
“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door” Emily Dickinson