I believe the purpose of life is to live as high on the food chain as possible. I refuse to eat vegetarians, and prefer to live on creatures that prey on sentient beings. (Magic the Gathering)
How high up the food chain do you call for a job?
We had a guy we placed in a very difficult job a few years ago. There were a bunch of reasons it was tough. One contributing factor was that his boss’s boss, Mr. Big, really might hire the guy over the objections of the candidates direct boss, Mr. Manager. That could put some strain on the relationship with Mr. Manager from the start. Can I make it more complicated? Mr. Manager also hated the Human Resources (HR) person assigned to find his new lackey. If the person came from HR, they were dead meat. They would only survive if they come from that Mr. Manager’s direct contacts or from Mr. Big. And if they were recommended by Mr. Big, Mr. Manager had to really like them.
This kind of dynamic goes on a lot in companies. It sounds horrible, and it is. But there are very good jobs filled this way. So, you need to be in contact with people outside of the HR department.
Here are some guidelines about who to call in a company to get a job:
- If you are NOT able or qualified, don’t try to get yourself forced into a job. You will fail. You know better.
- A recommendation by Mr. Big is good news if you really can do that job well. No doubt you have been told to get a mentor, someone who can help guide you up the career ladder. Mr. Big is perfect, even if you are not in the company yet. Someone even higher is great. Your mentor is someone who can show YOU how to open doors and help guide you into high visibility projects. Mentors can give you a big boost.
- Sometimes, luckily rarely, your boss hates his boss or even the HR department. No matter how you are hired, you have to prove yourself. It is rare that someone tries to sabotage a new hire. It does happen. Don’t worry about it. There is nothing you can do. Go in at whatever level you can get in.
Here are some thoughts on whom you won’t offend:
- You will never offend the Human Resources (HR) department by calling about a job. Their job is to stay in contact with you.
- If you know someone personally, talk to them. The higher the better. The higher they are, the more likely they like to help people.
- If a friend or acquaintance gives someone your resume, call the person they give it to. Consider it a personal introduction.
- If you are in the same club, church, kid’s soccer team or booster club with someone at the company, call them. Mention at a soccer practice that you are going to call, then call them at work.
- If someone says, “Tell Mr. Big I said to call”, then call Mr. Big and use that name no matter how high up or low they are. The person who told you to call may get a bonus if you call and use their name.
- If Mr. Big is looking for help, you won’t offend him by calling. He may tell you to talk to someone else. No problem. Tell that person Mr. Big said to call.
- If Mr. Big is NOT looking for help, he’ll probably tell you to call HR and forget you. There is little chance you will offend him. Call again in 3 months.
- Mr. Big’s secretary won’t mind being called as long as you tell her the truth. Often she knows more about what is going on than Mr. Big. Get her to help you.
That is a big list of people you will not offend when you call into a company. Do it. Call in. Call Mr. Big. It can get you one of those jobs that is not yet advertised.
Something To Do Today
Take the list of companies you want into, and see who you can contact in those companies. Use the list above as a starter. Who do you know?
Tomorrow: Get famous, get a job
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