Keep Networking -- You Might Need a Job

Who's hiring in these miserable conditions? Adam Jones of the FT puts together a podcast featuring the views of three people in the know -- two of whom are specialists in board appointments.

Here are a few practical tips from the podcast:

Samuel Johar, chairman of Buchanan Harvey.
Unemployed bankers are not the only ones beating a path to his door. He's seeing the effects of the financial crisis spreading into retail and other consumer industries, as well as manufacturing and engineering.

He reckons PFI (private finance contracts) contractors are less affected by the recession.

His advice for job seekers:

  • Consider foreign postings as a possibility, but bear in mind that the Gulf an BRIC states are affected, so may not yield opportunities for everyone.
  • Be flexible.
  • Keep contacts fresh, whether headhunters, clients or management consultants.
  • Don't be too demanding or prescriptive -- it is unrealistic and irritates contacts.
David Peters, EMEA regional managing partner at Heidrick & Struggles.
Don't worry if you're a hopeless networker.

Some people cringe at thought of being a supplicant or worry they'll be criticised for only calling when they are in need. But this is "a circular business", says Peter, and "good people" will understand.

His networking tips:

  • When approaching a contact's contact, it's ok to call them directly, but wiser to speak to their PA and be honest with them as to what you want of their boss.
  • Be selective about your network.
  • Find points of common interest -- be engaged in the right forums. Take up opportunities to speak or attend forums. Things happen to people who get out there and get connected.