A few weeks ago I was at a gathering with over 20 people, made up of family and close friends. Started a chat with a distant relative (will call him Damon) who is in his 30s and was laid off and out of work since January.
The coach in me comes out even in non-professional settings, so I asked him what he was doing to find his next opportunity. Damon told me a few things but didn’t seem enthusiastic about any of them or how he could get to where he wanted to go. So I asked him who could help him move forward? Next, I asked him about his “network”; he didn’t understand. So I asked him what contacts he had from previous jobs, friends or even relatives. He didn’t feel he had any type of network that could help him.
So I told him to begin creating one. He wasn’t sure how, so I said look around this room. You’re related to most of the people in here and you know everyone else. And many of those here would have you and your family’s best interests at heart. Then, we talked about "exponential power" - I said begin with the people who are here, say 15-20 adults, and multiply that by 10-20 more, and you could quickly create a network numbering into the hundreds. In reality, Damon would not likely know most of the people in this "network", nor would they know him, but they may be able to open a door for him.
Six degrees of separation, it really can work. It’s taking an old saying: “It’s not what you know but who you know” to another level because we never know all the people who also know the people who we know. Our “network” is really bigger than we can imagine. It’s worked many times for me and it can work for Damon. Will check in with him to see what he’s done with this new approach.
"If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities." - Barbara Bush