Saturday, January 28, 2012

When You Were A Kid.....

Today I had a lovely lunch with my Mum, Dad, sister and nephew - a rare treat because we all live in polar suburbs of Sydney and we don't get to spend as much time with each other as I'd like. Another reason we don't see each other often is because of everyone's work commitments. My family are hard working. My Mum and Dad have worked hard every day since time began, in fact they have the strongest work ethic of anyone I know. 

When I think of my parents in old age, I cannot imagine them not working. 

Today at lunch they made an announcement that they plan to retire in twelve months time. I wasn't floored, in fact I was quite thrilled for me...... (cough cough) I mean for them. All I could see were opportunities, and rewards for a life of remaining loyal to organisations and rarely taking sick days or extended holidays. 

I begged them to build a mansion on the beach in Northern NSW. I fantasised about spending weeks over Christmas in my parents beach side mansion at Byron or Ballina. Weeks in a beach side mansion............They'll most likely think of an acreage and farm somewhere that my dad can drive his ride on lawnmower and mum can decorate to her hearts content. 

I took the opportunity to ask them a really important question. 

What did you want to be as a kid?

My dad didn't even have to think about this question, he said all he wanted to do was drive since he was nine years old. Of course he was too young at nine to drive a car, but he found the means to find a way to be driving a car by the time he was eleven. That's ambitious! He hasn't made a living out of driving, but I'm sure he has managed to drive every single day of his life since he was eleven or twelve years old. He was always proud of his cars, he changed them every couple of years when I was growing up. I also remember him driving trucks when I was little. He now drives tractors. 

My sister took a little more time to think about it and then said she wanted to be a nurse. She studied nursing many years ago, but didn't go into nursing. Its a shame because I know she would have made a really fantastic one. She is caring, organised, sensible and someone who I know I would want to be looking after me if I were ill or injured. I asked if her career took a turn for the worse would she consider retraining to become a nurse. She didn't even have to think twice to say "No" because the changes in that industry are so significant that there are no motivating factors for going into nursing. 

Tonight at a party I asked my new best friends around the table what they thought they were going to be when they grew up. 

Sally also said she wanted to go into nursing when she was a teenager. At sixteen she had accompanied her mother into the hospital and was in awe of the women who looked after the patients. She was met by the matron who dissuaded her by telling her she was too young. I don't know Sally well enough to say that she would have made a good nurse, but she went on to tell me about her career changes throughout her 20's and 30's and how much she enjoys being a successful podiatrist in Sydney today. She too said if the situation changed, she would never consider going into nursing now, but given the fact she is in her 60's might have a lot to do with that. 

Mark wanted to be an architect. He was sitting at a part of the table where I couldn't quite hear the reasons of background to this, but I have known him for a few years and followed his career through many highs and some lows. Mark became a businessman and interior designer and from the work I have seen of his - he really has found his place in life. His contracts are in the hospitality field; I have been in pubs and restaurants admiring the decor only to be advised at a later stage that Marks firm had designed it. Mark is a talented designer. (he kind of followed his childhood dream because I don't think they had interior designers when Mark was growing up).

My husband said he wanted to be an engineer, but only because he thought it would lead to travelling to distant lands building bridges and buildings. Instead, he is the founder of an IT firm which specialises in the publishing and advertising industries. My husband is an entrepreneur, and we make it part of our life to travel on a regular basis. So he too also found a way to live out some of his childhood dreams. 

So this leads to me thinking about what I wanted to be when I was growing up. 

I wanted to be a mum and a wife. Tick. 

I wanted to be an air hostess. Not anymore since my years of travelling and being a demanding passenger. 

I too wanted to be an architect. I designed so many of my own houses in my head as a child, but in reality a 6 story cascading swimming pool in my dream home wasn't going to eventuate. No builder in his right mind would ever build something like that. 

I wanted to be a police woman until I saw the training regime. 

I wanted to travel. Everywhere and all the time. 

I wanted to be a writer. Really only for the fame and overseas book tours - review point above.

I wanted to be a designer. A successful one who only ever wears my own designs. After all, Barbie looked great in them. She also didn't have an opinion. 

I wanted to work in an office. As the CEO.  

So now I find myself in a cross roads of my career - and I have been given the most amazing opportunity of being anything I want to be. As an adult, I have the luxury of life experience and skills behind me. As a redundee and wife with a supportive husband, I also have the financial backing to grasp at a dream. Or two. 

It's a really tough choice, but after careful elimination of strenuous or dangerous professions, I think I might combine a few of my passions and dreams and become a high end fashion travel writer who only ever goes to remote and exotic lands. Wearing my own designs of course! 

This is my dad. The driver. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Get Busy!

They say (I don’t know who “they” are) … But they say that when you need something done, ask a busy person. I know quite a few busy people, and somehow it's true.

My friend Debra was always the first person to volunteer for a task, yet she worked as an air-hostess on shifts, maintained a gorgeous home and brought up a lovely family. Debra had extremely high standards, so everything she did was of exceptional quality and she always delivered on time. Debra would make the perfect project manager.

Jacqui is another friend who is astronomically busy! She has a family with 4 children, a beautiful home, AND she manages to run a very successful PR company, study, do yoga everyday and travels to amazing destinations - regularly! All with a beautiful smile and a great sense of humour.

I drew on these busy women (amongst others) and decided to get busy.

I tried sitting at home while looking for a job. The kids were at school and my husband was at work, so my day would consist of making breakfast, sitting at the table on my laptop searching for the dream job, and being too easily distracted by silly things.

Lunch with friends was great for a while until I realised that a bottle of rosé everyday before 3pm was not healthy. The calories were also adding up and my tummy was resembling that of a pregnant woman, with triplets.

Housework gave me a sense of pride and achievement, but after a week I realised I am not a very good housewife. Vacuuming just doesn’t do it for me.

Shopping for Akira dresses was fast becoming an addiction and was too easily justified through my stylist experience. The dresses are truly pieces of art, but they are also a strain on the bank balance that was heading south very fast!

Wallowing in self pity was taking up too much time and that’s when I knew I had to really get busy. Two days of feeling sorry for myself was enough thank you very much!

There were important and practical tasks I could have taken on - like finalising our tax returns for the past 4 years, sorting out the kids wardrobes, renovating my daughters bedroom into a guest bedroom and going to the gym. None of the above seemed too attractive.

My husbands business was going through yet another positive growth phase and I begged him for me to come in and help out. He is a man of strong integrity, and didn’t want to set an example with his staff of being a nepotist so he handed me over to his appointed General Manager who gave me a job!

It was an amazing change to the mindset. Suddenly I was able to get back into the routine of getting up everyday and out of my pyjamas! If my pyjamas were Akira, I may have had a problem with this, sadly he only does pyjamas for Qantas first class passengers, and I have never been in that category!

Another great benefit of working on a casual basis (until I find a full time job) is that I get to contribute my skills and add value. I enjoy being part of a team again and sharing my knowledge. It's heart warming to walk into an office every day and have people genuinely welcome you. The atmosphere of the office is upbeat, energetic and extremely positive. It's motivating and it's so enjoyable to wake up each day and go into such a space to add value.

Recently I was also asked to provide my formal skills of project management to a couple of large and exciting projects. I’ve always been a fan of flowcharts, getting my teeth into some amazing creative projects has boosted my soul even more.

There have been many “wins” so far by me going in and helping out - the company has benefited financially through efficient processes I was able to implement as well as identify some areas of revenue maximisation. For me the biggest win has been getting me “busy” and giving me back a sense of worth.

I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself anymore, but I do manage to find time to reflect on being eternally grateful for having a new purpose to my day and keeping myself motivated and busy.

Oh! And I also put my hand up to volunteer..... but that’s another blog!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I am fortunate enough to be inspired by the many things I come across in my daily life. The fact that I am surrounded by many inspirational people is most likely a contributing factor, I rarely have to put any effort into being inspired. 

This week I came across three exceptional women. Two of the women I have known for many years and the third was an absolute stranger who I invited for coffee. As they might be reading this right now, I'll change their names to avoid any embarrassment. 

We'll call them Lucy, Kate and Celie. 

Lucy reported to me many years ago and I considered her to be one of the most positive people I knew. She was born with a disability which resulted in a life spent in a wheelchair. When you look at Lucy, you don't see the chair, you see a friendly intelligent woman who has a passion for life. To make her really amazing, she is also a para-olympian with more than one medal! To be any kind of sports person, you have to have strength, dedication, discipline, courage and will, to be a para-olympian you need to have something else. Sheer determination. She has always had that. 

Living in Sydney is expensive and difficult enough, for Lucy to buy a house and get around - her options were extremely limited. But she seized them anyway and made the best of her situation, and is now living in a lovely suburb on the harbour and paying off her mortgage. That's pretty impressive in itself. Bumps have happened along the way which she fought with gusto for a positive resolution; an example is when her ground floor unit had a sloping floor which she was then required to replace soon after buying the place - she took the corporate body to court and successfully managed to have everyone in her block of units contribute to the cost of a new floor. Sheer determination! 

For over a year, Lucy had been unhappy in her work situation. She wasn't being recognised for her skills and was constantly being "managed" rather than coached. When positions were advertised internally for roles she could easily do, she was overlooked without any plan in place for career progression. She felt it was time to become more independent, so she started learning new skills. I'm not privy to the strategy used in coming to her chosen field, however I do know that the course she eventually chose suited her personality brilliantly. She is an easy person to talk to, approachable and non judgemental. She decided to do a course in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Processing). I received an email from her this week telling me that she had finally graduated from her course and was setting up shop on her own, and invited me to lunch in her new office in Bondi. To say I was so proud of her would be condescending, but I can say that I am in complete awe of her and her ability to rise above any issue thrown at her. I cant wait to visit this swanky office and share a glass of bubbles with her to celebrate. 

Kate has been a dear friend for many years after moving to Australia by herself while waiting for her husband to join her. She adopted me as a pseudo mother figure, and we welcomed her into the home as part of our family. She is one of the kindest people I know, as well as another intelligent, funny, insightful and beautiful woman. Due to her husbands work situation, Kate moved to Singapore a few years ago and established herself within the same organisation I worked for. She was knowledgable and well respected and was living the amazing life of an expat in a wonderful city. Kate was extremely good at her job, but considered there must be more than just paying lip-service to work life balance. With a friend in Singapore, she set up a business women's network who meet every month and have a guided agenda on how to be a strong female leader/business women in todays world. Kate and her friend have done an amazing job and each monthly meeting is swamped with people wanting an invitation, myself included, however I am not in a financial position right now to go to Singapore to attend a session. Instead I read the minutes and newsletters and review their Facebook page on a regular basis. I get their sessions by osmosis! 

After some planning, Kate resigned from her job to start up her own business in Singapore. Its a scary thought to resign and start something new, financially and emotionally. Kate has gone into this with a brilliant attitude and I know she will be another success story. I'm now looking into flight options so I can make it to her opening launch in February.  

My executive coach gave me a list of people to contact and practice my networking skills on, so I sent off an email last week to Celie asking if she'd like to meet up and chat about her experiences and perhaps get some advice or guidance on my own job search. 

Celie had returned to Australia over a year ago after living the life in New York in a senior position for a financial institution. Living in New York is a dream of mine, I absolutely love the city and have fantasies about living in a grand apartment overlooking central park, drinking divine cocktails in underground jazz clubs. But I digress. Celie had that life and was made redundant after a couple of years. Her options were to continue to look for a job in NY so she could continue the high life, go to the UK where she had a house or she could return to Australia for the laid back life of an Aussie. Due to the global economic crisis, she decided to return to Australia where she thought it would be easier to secure a position and buy a house. Unfortunately with multiple margin calls, the savings and redundancy was fast becoming extinct.

When she became 'down' about her situation, she would jump in the car with the music up high and drive. One day she found herself in Adelaide. Thats a 20 hour drive! She considered the towns she'd driven through, the people she met and realised that she was one of the lucky ones. Intelligent and with a means to get herself out of her jobless situation. So she drove back again to Sydney to start all over again.

Those people or situations in her life that brought her down, she avoided. She did not want to have a negative influence in her life that would bring her down.

Celie went through many months of job searching utilising every resource available to her, and she eventually landed the perfect job after 12months. Her bank balance was crying and she was almost at the point of moving into her friends spare bedroom. She'd even started to pack her belongings.

She had complete confidence in herself and never let her attitude spiral into depression. 

Celie's job search and attitude mirrored my own, and she was able to give me some fantastic and practical tips on accepting, moving on and how to keep going. Like me, her motto is "never give up".

What I enjoyed most about meeting Celie was her enthusiasm for life - she has an infectious positive energy and the message she left me with was to remain positive with an energetic attitude and have faith that something will happen. 

Every day there will be someone I come across who has the capacity to inspire me. I'm keeping my eyes and heart open.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stalking Is Such An Ugly Word

What I find really frustrating in my job search is waiting for the promised call, the promised email, or even the promised contract.

I don’t know if I was ever guilty of promising a call or email and failed to do so. Probably. OK, OK, OK, I know I have been guilty of promising a call back and not making it. It dates back to my teenage days when a promised phone call was confronting and I would do everything to avoid it. If a boy called me who I wasn’t interested in, I would ask my mum to lie for me and tell him I would call back. She never lied, a woman of very strong integrity – so I would have to take the initial call and promise a call back pretending I was in the middle of something else. I never did call back. I doubt these boys sat in their mothers lounge room for too long, but nonetheless I had very little regard for the other person by not making that call. Oh, how I have learnt a lesson.

My job search has been particularly frustrating when people have promised a call back (or any kind of contact) and have failed to follow through with it. While I understand other people’s lives are moving a little faster than my own right now, a promised phone is a small action that can have a huge impact. I find myself stalking my own emails (every 5 minutes) and phone to see if I have missed anything.

I asked my executive coach when the right time to follow up is. He didn’t really know how to answer this, but suggested I follow up once only because after that its considered stalking. I’m not too sure I subscribe to his theories, but he’s the one working and I’m not. 

I have been very polite and waited until after the promised phone call to either call or send a polite email to follow up. And then nothing. No returned call, no replied emails..... nada, zip, nothing!

I appreciate that everyone is busy and my job hunt is not all consuming for anyone else but myself, but the simple courtesy of a call or email to let me know either way would make such a huge difference to my day.

Signing off now to check my emails and phone again……

Image by Melissa Galt

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fake It Till You Make It.

There is no hiding from the fact that when you are unemployed, you will go through various forms of negative emotions. It’s only natural considering that your life has taken a new direction and the future is unknown.

I have to keep reminding myself that the lows are always followed by a high, but this is hard to realise sometimes when everything seems against you. That’s why I have adopted a “fake it till you make it” approach - so that when I read yet another rejection email, I pretend that I didn’t really want that job and move on. So far it’s working.

Kubler-Ross developed a model on the five stages of grief which I feel can also be applied to the loss of a job.

Denial (that didn’t really happen, did it?)
Anger (how dare they do that to me)
Bargaining (if only I could have done something different ….)
Depression (I wont get another job)
Acceptance (its happened, now move on)

All of these feelings have value in being able to process a redundancy, with a particular  focus on the end result of acceptance. Managing these feelings can be quite cumbersome if you let them get on top of you, so I have developed some strategies that I try to employ to keep me buoyant when I’m feeling really down.

My daily mantra of “fake it till you make it” is working. Whenever I find myself falling into the trap of being angry or depressed at my unemployment situation, I refer to my list of happy things” and tick them off as appropriate.

Here is my list of things that make me happy and promote my well-being.  (in no particular order)

-          My family (always at the top of my list)
-          Massages
-          Lunches with friends
-          Music
-          Comedy movies
-          Chocolate
-          Exercise (running, pilates)
-          Charity work
-          Reading a good book
-          Walking the dog
-          Travel (oh how I love to explore new places)
-          Writing
Being unemployed also means there is a level of financial burden, so not all of the above can be adapted all the time. This is where I am resourceful.

I have been given massage vouchers by friends and family, so these are in use when I’m stressed. Rather than use them as soon as I get them, I bank them up for a “rainy day”. These just happen to be days when I’ve read too many rejection emails or sat at home waiting for the promised phone call.

Lunches with friends always cheer me up and they don’t need to be expensive. I need to eat anyway, so it may as well be with someone I can share a good belly laugh with.

Exercise is a fantastic vent. My cross-trainer gets a bit of a work out when I don’t feel fantastic - and despite the effort in getting on there and “running” for half an hour, I always feel refreshed and energised afterwards. Exercise release endorphins, the natural happy drug. Its free and very good for working off the chocolate. Walking the dog has the same effect, she loves it as much as I do.  

A good book is a wonderful distraction to the woes of job hunting. I devour books and love getting lost in stories. The same goes with a good movie. Or a decent CD. Putting on a CD in my lounge room and dancing around while no one is looking has become a favourite past time of mine (and my neighbours, judging by their laughter).

On laughing, nothing beats a great comedy.

Participating in a charitable organisation is food for the soul. It brings a sense of self worth, value and altruism that doesn’t come with sitting on the couch and dwelling in self pity.

And when money permits, I like to travel. Having something to look forward to is especially inspiring. It gives me a project to work on with research, planning, organising, booking and finally exploring! The more adventurous the better in my eyes.

Perhaps my “fake it till you make it approach” is still in the denial stage of the Kubler-Ross methodology, but for now its getting me through some tough times so I think I will continue it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Get Out And Knock On Doors

Back in the old days when life was in black and white and sepia tones, it would not be uncommon for people to type up their resumes and go door knocking for a job. True story (for all the gen Y’s and Z’s). People would dress up in suits, resume in hand and walk the streets looking for a job.

Come to think of it, it’s what I did at 13 when I landed my first job. I really wanted an after school job where I could earn my own money to buy clothes and pay for my own movies; Independence has always been a strong feature of mine.

I borrowed my sisters type writer and went through a few reams of paper. Its not because I had much experience to put down (I was only 13), but typewriters didn’t have the “control z” option and as I was also using carbon paper. I really did go through a lot of paper. If my sister is reading this now - I sincerely apologise and will bring over a ream of paper on my next visit.

After printing off a few copies of my well worded resume, I went to our local shopping centre and visited every single shop. Granted this was prior to Westfields being on every corner - but there were a lot of shops! I asked to speak to the managers and gave them my pitch.

“Are you hiring school kids for after school work” (You didn’t need to say too much back then because of the attractiveness of cheap labour).

I had a fantasty of working in a high fashion store, where they would ask me to take clothes home and try them out. Sadly, I didn’t live in the kind of neighbourhood that had a lot of high fashion shops, but I seriously would have settled for a “Katies” or “Susans” or “Sportsgirl”.

I finally landed a job at a local milk bar selling hot chips, hamburgers and milkshakes. It may not have been the most glamorous position in the world, but I enjoyed every minute of being there. I worked with other school kids and older Greek ladies who gave us motherly advice and fed us most of the food we were supposed to be selling. I went home most afternoons with a bag full of baklava. I also developed exceptional customer service skills and I can still make a mean vanilla milkshake.

But that was then; walking around business to business with a printed resume in hand would not be considered very enterprising.

That’s why we have emails.

After writing a list of companies I want to work for and reviewing their websites, you tube videos and LinkedIn profiles, I have decided to go door knocking by email. I am sensitive to spam, so  I wont be sending off a bulk email with a country full of bcc’s. The generic “Dear..... “ may give it away.

After carefully researching the companies, I am going to write up a proposal of what value I can add to the company. I’m working on my sales pitch.

I also happen to believe the job I will eventually land will be a job that is yet to be created - so rather than go through the HR department, I am going to approach the most Senior Managers I can find because while they may not know all of the positions vacant, they will have an idea on the companies direction and growth.

I know it’s going to be a hard sell, as it was when I was a 13 year old teenager. As a product, I’m still the expert on Lisa and there is no better person to get out there and sell “me” than me!

Thank goodness for that “control z” option!

TYPEWRITER Remington Antique Crop By C. Gilliam Creative Commons 3.0

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dear Me,

Here is a letter from me in January 2013 - to me in January 2012. (get it?)

Dear Me,

Happy New Year once again! And what a way to welcome the year after such an exciting one you’ve just had.

This letter is written in the future to tell you about what happened in your year - I know how much you like to be well prepared being a Virgo. Is it well prepared or anal, or just absolutely organised? Either way, I understand how important it is for you to plan your life, with Plan A, B, C and Z.

So here goes:
Everything is going to be OK. It always is. No matter what is thrown at you, you always manage to come out on top and smiling. It’s your strength of character to find a positive spin on everything that happens. To be able to see life’s lessons and run with them.

2012 will be another great year for learning.

As soon as the fireworks of New Years Eve fizzle and the lights on the Harbour Bridge fade, it’s time to get cracking.

Write your lists. Decide what you want in life and go out and get it because its all there waiting for you.

January will be spent getting back on your feet, cleaning the cobwebs and starting fresh. Sunscreen is a key staple of your handbag, I suggest you also keep a bottle in the bathroom for the kids. Out of sight is out of mind, and those fair skinned children need constant reminders.

Change your cover letters, they sound far too exciting to potential employers. I think you might be scaring them off. Stop applying for every job on Most of those jobs don’t even exist.

Your trip to Flores in February will be amazing. Spend this time being kind to yourself. Relax and enjoy the company of John, Tom, Kerryn and Martin. It's the Year of the Dragon - take a lot of photos of the Komodo Dragons and write a travel article. Your guides of Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea were fantastic and served a purpose - a guide on Flores will be just as great.

Children will continue to push the boundaries as they do - and you will appreciate the brassiness of this. And then you will find a way of whispering to them the lessons you hope they learn. They will listen, they’re great kids.

Your husband will be by your side every step of the way, clapping from the sidelines as you mark particular milestones in your agenda.

Friends and family will also be there for you. Nurture friendships and gossip less.

Exercise daily and reduce that sugar addiction you have! January was a great start with the Pilates classes, keep them going at least three mornings a week. What a fantastic way to get your body moving and starting your day right.

Chocolate is not your friend. Water is.

You will get a job! It will be with a company who is proud of a positive culture, who is keen to develop staff and who appreciates your love of travel. Every day will be different, something new to learn on a continuous basis. Your leadership will be valued - make sure you continue to bring fresh ideas to the table because they will be welcomed. Not everything will go ahead, but that’s OK because you were brave enough to present them.

Your year will end on a high, so put a bottle of Moet in the fridge right now.

Appreciate the little things that 2012 has to offer. Embrace life and continue to have faith in yourself. You are an intelligent person, warm and caring with so much to offer.  

Above all, be happy.

Me. xx

Friday, January 13, 2012

War and Peace

Last night I watched the epic movie War and Peace based on Tolstoy's novel.

I didn't plan on watching it and I didn't really have the three and a half hours to sit in front of the TV, but something on the cover caught my eye and I couldn’t resist. Perhaps it was Audrey Hepburn in that lovely dress, perhaps it was the word: Peace, or perhaps subliminally I could relate with my own journey of unemployment. Whatever it was I sat down and only hit the pause button twice.

The love story was beautiful, the unexpected happened but was always there. But as love stories go, I have to say I was disappointed. Audrey (Natasha) ended up with whoever was left over, an older man who was on his own journey after a life of debauchery and chaos. Not that she was pure of heart, she had been influenced and led astray by a sleazy fool while she was engaged to a lovely noble man, the Colonel (Andre).

The story of war and battles intrigued me. Suddenly I understood that ambiguous cliche of “winning the battle but not winning the war”.

This is my employment journey - I lost the battle but I am determined to win the war.

The battle for me was trying to remain focused in my job while there were bombs going off all around me. Some of those bombs were aimed at me, and most of them missed. I was well protected by my army and my leadership was strong. The enemy however was stronger and in the end - the enemy won the battle.

I left that job a little battle scarred, but much less naive. A learnt lessons in that battle that have made me a stronger person, a better employee and far more focused leader.

Who did I relate to in the story? Probably Andre - reliable, hard working and focused. He might have died in the end, but lets face it - we all do. He went with honour and courage, qualities I share.

Trying to find a job is not exactly a war, but it does require a well thought out strategy. Today I sit in my war room with pen and paper to “nut it out” and think it through before executing it. My war room happens to be a comfy couch at the local coffee shop and my army are my network of friends, family and associates including my executive coach and recruitment agencies.

With that kind of an army - how can I lose?

Photo by

The Spider in the Network

A spiderweb is an amazing structure made by one spider. Intricate and strong and very well connected. It can withstand rain and sunshine while protecting the spider. It also serves as a way for the spider to protect itself from birds as well as catch food.

To me, networking is like a spiderweb: In my world, I am the spider in the centre of the web and my network is my support structure around me. Everything I do in the centre of my web effects those around me in some way, so I need to ensure I look after my web and in return it will look after me.

A bit loose on the analogy? Perhaps, but when you really think it, it has legs. Hopefully more than six.

During my search for a job, I have been told several times that the most successful method of landing a role is through networking. 70% of roles secured in 2011 were through networking, followed by 10% through advertisements. With those kind of figures, I am placing a greater emphasis on networking.

It really got me thinking about how many people might be in my own network. At first guess I estimated I knew more than 100 people. When I put more effort into my research, I could easily fill up a spreadsheet with over 1000. Friends, family, colleagues, team mates from sporting activities, friends I’ve met through travelling, children’s friends parents, people I’ve met in coffee shops, on buses..... the list goes on. I may talk to a lot of people, but the reality is each of us will also have an impressive network.  

It’s what we do with this network that’s important; we have a choice to nurture it, or abuse it.

I’m not going to go out and ask my 1000 contacts if they have a job for me because not only is that wrong, but by applying direct pressure to my network I am also damaging it. Like a spiderweb, once the damage is done its hard to repair.

I am however going to let my network know that I’m looking for a new role, because each person in my network knows more people (lets say 1000) - who also might happen to know 1000 more people and all of a sudden my network has expanded to 10,000,000 people.

I choose to nurture my network by keeping in touch with people, meeting up, sharing knowledge and helping when I can. To date I feel well protected by my network where people I know have helped me with introductions, references and generally keeping in touch to see how I’m going.

I’m not normally a fan of spiders, but the ones that make webs are clever little creatures.