In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Classifieds Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward
Big-town image, small-town methods
Networking still seen as top job-search strategy
By Jonathan J. Cooper

February 18, 2006

Forget surfing the Internet for hours on end. This once-popular job search strategy, despite all the hype, still hasn’t replaced the time-tested concept of networking.

Some Kyrene Corridor job seekers, particularly those hoping to replicate the high-paying management and executive-level positions they once held, say personal relationships are proving their worth more than ever before.

By relying on tried-and-true networking methods, job seekers say they often land a job before it’s ever posted in the public domain.

Networking not only increases one’s chances of landing a job, say its proponents, but simultaneously helps the un- or under-employed cope with the emotional-psychological burdens of their situation.

The Kyrene Corridor provides an excellent environment in which networking can really produce results, say many of those who have tried it.

“The that it is a really small ‘big’ town or a really big ‘small’ town,” said Eric Walton, who was recently hired as an executive at a Kyrene Corridor customer-relations management firm after a two-year job search.

“Many people get jobs through networking.”

Often triggered by involuntary layoffs and force reductions—sometimes expected, sometimes not—unemployment carries with it a host of emotional and financial burdens which can be difficult to handle.

Volunteer-run networking groups, long a mainstay for those seeking job or career changes, have taken on new importance with their ability to bring together individuals with similar goals.

The groups’ members meet regularly to broaden their sphere of connections, hoping to meet somebody with an inside scoop and a contact at a desired place of employment, all while meeting new people and making new friends in what can be a long and difficult stretch.

“The job search is a difficult time in people’s lives, and it’s important that people know that they’re not alone,” said Molly Wendell, a commercial real estate specialist who volunteers her time as managing director of Arizona Executives, a networking group that brings together manager- and director-level job seekers.

“And it’s important for them to have a place to go where they can network with their peers and identify opportunities and contacts that will lead them to the next job.”

Arizona Executives is a 3½-year-old organization which has grown from an original four members to its current 1,000, about 50 percent of whom are “alumni” currently satisfied with their employment but who continue to assist the active job-seekers when possible.

About 98 percent of Arizona Executives members “are really good at helping others once they land (a job) because they have been in their shoes. They know what it’s like not to get a return call when you’ve got a lot of time on your hands,” Wendell said.

Having spent the past three years working extensively with unemployed Arizonans, Wendell has noticed trends in the process. The number-one factor in landing a job, she said, is beyond the control of the applicant: The state of the economy.

And based on the time it’s taken her recent job seekers to land work, Wendell says the economy is in pretty good shape, at least compared to when she started with Arizona Executives.

“The big difference between now and three years ago is that three years ago there were so many people out on the market and willing to take things for less,” she said. “And now good talent has the ability to be picky. You’re interviewing (the employer) as much as (the employer is) interviewing you.”

Inherent in the job search process, however, are the rejection letters and frustration that leave holes in self-confidence and self-esteem, on top of the initial trauma of a layoff. Wendell said networking organizations work to create an atmosphere of excitement designed to boost spirits.

“I find that in groups like ours the attitude is much more positive in people who are looking, because the opportunity is exciting,” she said.

“It’s exciting to figure out, ‘Gosh, what could be next?’ So groups like ours really do a good job of having a high level of great attitude.”

Helen Garigliano, a human resources professional looking for work through Arizona Executives, says sharing experiences is another means of helping to bolster spirits.

“It’s always good to be with a group of professional people to understand that you’re not the only person that’s been laid off, or that’s been looking for a job, and how long it takes to find the right job.”

Walton, the customer-relations management executive, also stressed the importance of attitude in a job search. He noted that he’s held five different jobs in seven years, and cited attitude as a key to landing each one.

“(Unemployment) always has an emotional impact, and you have to deal with that,” he said. “And how you deal with that reflects how quickly you come out of unemployment.”

Even though he is currently employed, Walton said he continues to network to keep his options open, and to ensure a solid network is in place at any time. He said networking is not an innate skill.

“You have to be able to talk to someone without asking for a job,” something that can be extremely difficult when faced with unemployment, he said. “It’s actually a skill that can be taught.”

Walton also continues to meet with job seekers about once or twice a month to help as best he can in their search, he said.

“When you’re out of work five times in seven years, you really learn to appreciate the value of someone else’s help,” he said. “I got jobs because of other people’s help. But it’s way beyond a payback system. It’s very fulfilling to me.”

Dan Corsetti, a Kyrene Corridor information technology professional, has been searching for a position as IT director or chief information officer for the past two months after falling victim to a reduction in force in his last position. He said he stays positive by looking at his past achievements

“If you dwelled on (being laid off), it could obviously cause one to have lower esteem or morale,” he said. “For me, I’ve had so many successes in my career, I can rely on that to fall back on.”





























































web site hit counter