How can your sister help you in your search for a job?
A woman I have a professional relationship and a great deal of respect for called me some while ago to tell me about a successful venture of hers, but she also shared with me some concerns about her brother's career. I offered to talk to him - given the work I do - even if men are sometimes unaware about coaching or are wary of meetings where they have to talk about themselves.
In any case, together we developed a strategy that worked. After our meeting, I received an email from Edoardo that began as follows:
“Hello Cristina, I have cc'd my "dull" sister whom I’d like to thank again for putting me in touch with you. If our chat leads to me being inundated with job offers ... I’ll put your picture on my table, surround it with candles and worship it like a deity 😊 Returning to the real world, two days after we spoke it seems things are slowly picking up, but I have to take it one step at a time...”– The brother
At first I thought Edoardo was being sarcastic ... but when I re-read the “deity” phrase a couple of times, I realised it was actually a great compliment, or perhaps, more appropriately, valuable feedback that talking to a stranger – in this case a professional consultant - can often be helpful in achieving a "breakthrough". Later on, he wrote:
“... I used this enthusiastic tone to convey the sense that speaking to you did me a world of good as it gave me the energy and strength to believe in my ideas and in the future. Perhaps the current options won’t be top jobs offering full financial satisfaction, but because of the way I am, money is not the main goal. Family problems, in particular, have made me lose focus on the most important things and I have allowed myself to be negatively influenced by some people. I have done some silly things to try to please everyone, but this is a serious mistake that I don't want to make any more. Sometimes you can’t find the help you need from people close to you and it’s hard to understand that you need to make certain sacrifices to protect the things that are truly important, otherwise you’ll only find yourself with even bigger problems ...”– The brother
Oh, I almost forgot: we talked by Skype, as I was in Milan and he was in another European country.
So, there are no excuses! Even if you live in a little town and think that certain services only exist in big cities like Milan… This example proves that’s not the case.
The person in your network (in this case, someone very close like a sister) can offer you compassion and affection as well as fruitful professional advice, both in itself (coaching) and because it stems from a personal acquaintance (networking).
Thanks to women and thanks to networking.