Pay it Forward for Career Success, with Tony Restell

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Find Your Dream Job, Episode 118:

The Secret to Career Success: Pay it Forward, with Tony Restell

Airdate: December 20, 2017

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host, and publisher of Mac’s List.

I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag, Becky Thomas, and Jessica Black, from the Mac’s List team.

This week we’re talking about The Secret to Career Success: Pay it Forward.

For some people job offers seem to happen magically. For others, a job search is a long and sometimes painful process. There’s a reason this is so, says this week’s guest expert Tony Restell. He’s found that the people who return favors by helping others enjoy the most career success.

Tony will explain how paying it forward can help you get your next job or promotion. He and I talk later in the show.

The idea that job hunting means giving, as well as asking, for help might surprise some listeners. Many job seekers also don’t understand how much they have to offer. Ben has found several examples of the difference supporting others looking for work can make to the success of your own job search. He tells us more in a moment.

What strategies work best for overcoming age discrimination in the workplace? That’s our listener question of the week. It comes from Don Fitchett of Portland, Oregon. Becky shares her advice shortly.

As always, let’s start by checking in with the Mac’s List team.

Every week Ben is out there searching the nooks and crannies of the Internet. He looks for websites, books, and tools you can use in your job search and your career. So Ben, what have you uncovered for our listeners this week?

Ben Forstag:

This week when I saw the topic of the show, which is paying it forward, it reminded me of episode 100, our live episode. We had a job seeker segment to the show and one of those job seekers was Lisa Kislingbury Anderson, who is an unknown commodity here at Mac’s List; she’s helped out on the blog.

Jessica Black:

Friend.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, she’s a friend of the show, yes. She said something that’s kind of stuck with me since that show, which was, she said, one of the benefits actually, of her job search has been the realization that this is a collaborative thing, you’re not competing with other job seekers. That you can work together and this is a way to form relationships, contacts, and help each other in this process.

That really stuck with me because I think so much of the time we think about the job search as a competition. That I’m up against a hundred other job seekers and I have to beat them. In some respects that’s true, because with any single job opening, it’s like some game, one person is going to win and everyone else is going to lose. But job searches in general, they don’t have to be this combative, you-against-the-world approach. There’s a lot of value to helping out other people who are in similar situations. What you give is what you give back.

Thinking about that and doing some research, I found this really interesting article on Huffpost, it’s by a guy named Patrick Richard, and it’s called Losing Job Search Momentum; Why You Should Help Others First.

Again, it just gets at this idea of competition vs. collaboration. He says, “Helping others to find work can boost your own sense of self worth, giving you the motivation to barrel on with your own job hunt.”

Before I go into what Richard says in detail here, just curious. of the folks here in the room, have you ever participated in a collaborative job search practice?

Becky Thomas:

Oh yeah, absolutely.

Ben Forstag:

I never have, I’ll admit, I feel like job searching is kind of something I do on my own.

Becky Thomas:

Really?

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, not for my own benefit, probably.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, yeah. I feel like in different senses, but I’ve always used the people that I know and they’ve leaned on me when they need me. Whatever, anytime somebody is in need of a new opportunity, and they’ll float it out into the network, and I’ll scope for them. I’ll keep an eye out. I feel like that just creates a sense of everybody is helping each other. Yeah, it can be competitive. I don’t know, it just feels so much better to be in that sense of we’re helping each other, than to feel isolated and feel like it’s me against the world.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Becky Thomas:

I’ve just always felt a lot better about my career development, job search experience, when I’m giving to others. You get what you give, that’s so true. I feel like people say that all the time, but it really is, especially in this space.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, when you know other people are watching out for you, and you’re watching out for them.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, everybody wins that way.

Becky Thomas:

Right.

Mac Prichard:

I’ve certainly been part of job search groups, or just, I’ve had informal job search buddies that I’ve checked in with.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, accountability too, is always nice.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, and I should just clarify here, I mean, if you listen to our show at all, you know we talk about going out and getting other people to help you with your  job search. This specifically is asking other job seekers to help you with your job search. So you’re not going out and doing informational interviews with established professionals or people who already have your dream job. This is going to other people who are in your exact same situation to find support.

Jessica Black:

I know that Lisa, who we referenced before, our friend of the podcast, and friend of Mac’s List, did just that. She created a job search support group almost of everyone who was looking for a job getting together on a regular basis. Just sharing resources, and sharing support, and all of that stuff. It’s really beneficial.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, and that’s actually one of the things that Patrick Richard suggested in this article. None of these things are like earth shattering, or you’re going to become the volunteer of the year award or anything like that. They are really relatively modest things that you can do that can really help you, and other people, in their job search.

So it’s things like sharing job search stories and advice, brainstorming creative job search practices, offering motivation and accountability. Or maybe even starting a local group for job seekers, like what Lisa did.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

To bring this whole thing in full circle, we did an event last week on Communications Jobs here in Portland, and I can’t remember what panelist it was, I think it might have been…

Becky Thomas:

I bet it was Jess Columbo.

Ben Forstag:

Was it Jess Columbo?

Becky Thomas:

She’s always on that sort of, help your network, and she’s great at it.

Ben Forstag:

Well one of the things she said was, “In your job search you’re going to find a lot of jobs, and you really need to find the one that’s perfect for you. When you find one that isn’t perfect for you, but might be perfect for someone else, pass it along.”

Jessica Black:

Yeah, share it.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, share it with others.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, strategically right? You know what people are looking for, so you can pick someone out and be like,  “Hey, I thought of you for this opportunity.” and people appreciate that so much.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, this sounds exactly what you were talking about with your job search group.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

I thought this was really powerful and inspiring. If you want to check it out, again, it’s called Losing Job Search Momentum; Why You Should Help Others First.

Mac Prichard:

Well great, well thank you, Ben. If you’ve got a suggestion for Ben, he would love to hear from you. His address is easy to remember, it’s ben@macslist.org.

Now, let’s turn to you, our listeners. Becky is here to answer one of your questions. Becky, what’s in the Mac’s List mailbag this week?

Becky Thomas:

Don Fitchett submitted this question from Portland, Oregon. Let’s take a listen:

“Hey, my name is Don Fitchett, and my question is strategies dealing with age discrimination.”

Alright, thanks Don, for that question. As I was preparing to answer your question, I felt a little bit like, “Ah, I wonder what situation Don is in? He’s just asking for general strategies to deal with age discrimination.” I thought I’d just give an overview of what age discrimination looks like for a job seeker, and give some advice that could help.

We talk a lot about age discrimination. A lot of older workers are in this situation where they think they might be dealing with ageism, whether they’re looking for a job, or in their current workplace.

When we talk about age discrimination, there’s the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and it’s really sort of a broad protection. It protects applicants and employees who are over forty years of age and older from discrimination on all sorts of basis. Basis in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. So it’s a really broad protection.

There’s been a lot of discussion about how hard it is to prove age discrimination. A lot of times this discrimination is really subtle, and employers may be discriminating either unconsciously or they’re at least savvy enough to not say it outright, like  “Oh yeah, I didn’t give you that promotion because I think you’re too old,” or something. It’s a lot more insidious, which is really unfortunate because there’s been lots of surveys that show that more than half of people reported having seen it in the workplace.

It’s definitely something that’s out there, and can be really hard to prove and to get a case through court. Things like that. Also, most folks don’t want to go through that process of suing their employer or suing someone that they interviewed with. So a lot of the advice that’s shared can be a little bit harder for older job seekers to swallow because it feels like the onus is on you as the older job seeker to show that you’re not fitting those stereotypes.

It can be hard to understand, “Why is it on me? I’m just trying to get through my career. Why do I have to do anything different compared to people who are younger than me?” But you have to assume that the people you’re interacting with might have some ageist mindsets and it’s up to you to show them that you don’t fit that mold. A lot of those tired stereotypes about older people, “you’re tired, you’re afraid of change, you might not want to learn new things.” Or “you’re used to outdated practices” and things like that.

I think the best thing for you to do as a professional who’s over forty, or older, or wherever you’re at, is really to just put your best foot forward in all your interactions around your career.

Anytime you’re approaching some opportunity in your career, whether you’re at a networking events, you’re at an informational interview. Just be super confident and enthusiastic, and over communicate your goals and your plans for your career. The fact that you’ve got a lot that you’re working towards. That you’re open to new change, and learning new things, and all that. I think that’s really going to be the most effective way to address those stereotypes and that discrimination.

So yeah, I think it’s really just about knowing yourself, and knowing what stereotypes might be out there, and just taking an extra step to squash those in how people see you.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. I like that advice. I know that we’ve published in the past a short primer about how to deal with agism during a job interview. We should definitely include that in the show notes.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah. Okay, we’ll include a link in the show notes for you, Don.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, and I would just add, every job seeker out there is fighting against the things, the stereotypes that exist about them, no matter who they are. Whether you’re old or young, whether you’re a white person or a person of color. There are these stereotypes that float out there, some of them are benign, some of them are malicious. But they exist out there, and part of the challenge is to overcome that and it does put a lot of the onus on the job seeker to do that.

Your strategy, or the tack you have to take here, is you need to know what those negative stereotypes might be about who you are. When we’re talking about older job seekers it’s, “Is it up to date with technology?” “Won’t work well with younger managers.”

Jessica Black:

“Requires too much money.”

Ben Forstag:

“Requires too much money.”

Mac Prichard:

“Looking for a place to coast until retirement.”

Ben Forstag:

Exactly.

Jessica Black:

Right.

Ben Forstag:

There’s probably half a dozen of these big ones that employers have. They’re never going to say anything about it, it’s going to be in the back of their mind, and your challenge is to get out ahead of the curve with those and say why that doesn’t apply to you. There’s a cliche right? You’re only as old as you act. I think it’s completely true when it comes to a job search because if you can get out ahead of that, the employer will think, “Oh, I don’t want to hire an old person, but Becky’s not old. Becky doesn’t even act like an old person, Becky acts like a millenial, or something else, because she’s up to date with technology.” Becky’s like what? Thirty now?

Mac Prichard:

I don’t think, as her supervisors, we should be talking about her age.

Ben Forstag:

But I think that’s the point, this exists for everyone, not just older job seekers.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, for sure. That’s true.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Well excellent advice, Becky. We appreciate the question, Don. If you’ve got a question for the show, please write to Becky. You can reach her, at…her email address is: becky@macslist.org. Or you can call the listener line, and that number is area-code,  716-JOB-TALK, or send us a message on Facebook!

If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a copy of our new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

We’ll be back in a moment. When we return, I’ll talk with this week’s guest expert, Tony Restell about The Secret of Career Success: Paying it Forward.

Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Tony Restell.

Tony Restell is the founder of Social Hire. It’s a specialist agency that helps recruitment teams leverage social media.

Previously, Tony built and sold a successful job board business in the United Kingdom. He’s a guest speaker at leading business schools across Europe and a published author.

He joins us today from the outskirts of Portsmouth, just south of London.

Tony, thanks for being on the show.

Tony Restell:

It’s a pleasure to be here Mac, thanks for having me.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, well our topic this week, Tony, is the secret of career success. You’ve come to this topic after long experience with a lot of different job seekers over the years. You’ve actually found that they often fall into two kinds of job seekers, don’t you, Tony?

Tony Restell:

That’s absolutely right and it’s not just job seekers, it’s business people, it’s professionals, more broadly on social media. You’ve got those who turn to social media in their hour of need, in their hour of desperation, and reach out to people and try to get help in their job search, hitting their sales targets or whatever else it may be.

Then you’ve got those who are more proactive, who take a longer term view. Who build up relationships, who pay things forward, who help other people, who have a much stronger network to turn to when they actually need it.

Mac Prichard:

What kinds of differences in results do you see in the careers of those two groups? What differences do you see between those who start Tweeting when they need something, and those who are online or going to events, or showing up in person just regularly throughout a career?

Tony Restell:

I mean it’s huge. Someone who’s only ever reaching out to you when they need help, when they’re desperate, not having formed any relationship either with the person that they’re reaching out to, they’ll tend to have their message fall on deaf ears. So when they need that help the most, they find they haven’t got it. So those are the types of people who inevitably end up applying to lots and lots of jobs online because they’re not having positions referred to them. They’re not having people recommending them, people looking out for opportunities for them.

Then you’ve got those who are just helping people and talking to people, day in and day out, and they seem to have opportunities land on their lap. Whether that be sales leads or whether that be career opportunities. The difference is just staggering.

Mac Prichard:

Tony, what you’re describing is often called “paying it forward”. It’s this idea of doing favors for others without any expectation of getting anything in return. How do people do that? How do the people you see who pay it forward? What exactly are they doing on a day to day basis?

Tony Restell:

That’s an interesting question, and I would say that paying it forward is certainly one key part of it. But even more simplistically, just engaging people in conversations, and forming relationships, is absolutely key to everything in business. If you’ve got a big network of people who know, like, and trust you, then opportunities are going to come to you, and business is going to be referred to you, and you’re going to be recommended for open positions when recruiters are looking for recommendations.

Whereas if you’re not doing those things, then all that’s going to pass you by.

Paying it forward specifically, obviously we’re talking about how can you help other people with no expectation of anything in return.

At its simplest level on social media, I would say that is focusing on how you can help other people rather than always asking your network for something. In industries far and wide now, you see people who are setting themselves up to try and be helpful to other people in their industry. So they’re constantly sharing insights, reports, interviews, things that are going to be really useful to other people in that sector. Really making themselves a person of note in that industry.

That takes a bit of investment of time, there’s no immediate obvious payback from that. But you tend to find that if you do that, other people in the industry start paying attention to you. They start speaking highly of you, they start recommending you to others.

So at its simplest level, just sharing things that are valuable to other people, instead of focusing on what it is that you want, and promoting that. That makes a huge difference.

Then you can take it in stages from there, you know, you can be ever more proactive. I put an update on LinkedIn just this last week, saying, “Why don’t you look through your connections on LinkedIn and find people that you can introduce to one another?” If you know a business owner, and you know someone who provides services to businesses that could be useful to that business owner, put those people in touch. They will forever be grateful that you’ve made that introduction to try and help both of them out with no expectations of anything in return.

If you make that part of your weekly routine, that you do things like that, guess who they’re going to be thinking of and looking out for the next time there’s an opportunity coming their way that you could benefit from? So it is all about paying it forward, it’s all about not having any expectations of there being anything by way of payback in return. But actually, the reality is that it’s only a matter of time before someone that you help turns around and does something unprompted for you in return.

Mac Prichard:

So I can imagine listeners thinking to themselves right now, Tony, “My day is full. I’m not sure how to get started or how much time this might take.” What do you recommend for people who do want to get started, and what are some simple steps they might take on a daily basis? How much time do you recommend people invest in this kind of approach? Particularly online and using social media.

Tony Restell:

Well let me answer that first of all with an example, and then I’ll go into the specifics about times and tools and ideas.

I speak at lots of business schools across Europe and some of the students that I speak with really take these ideas on board. Generally, when I visit them or speak to them later in the school year, they are the people who have got multiple job offers lined up from the types of companies that they were dreaming of securing a role with when they graduated. They’ve done that by just investing a little bit of time each day in being active in the right groups, starting conversations with people, helping where they can. Obviously having a LinkedIn profile that appeals to the types of employers that they ultimately want to join. But they’re getting to the end of the school year and the job opportunities are coming to them. They’re not having to find and apply for jobs; they’re actually having people in their network reaching out to them, saying, “We’re looking to hire someone just like you. Would you like me to put your resume forward?”

If you compare and contrast that with the students who are struggling, they’re the ones who haven’t done any of that sort of thing during the course of the academic year. So they are completely reliant on finding jobs that are being advertised online, and applying to those. Obviously at that point, they’re putting themselves in a situation where they’re one of hundreds of applicants for a particular position, and the company may not even have job advert respondents as their top source of candidates. They might only even be looking at those responses if their other approaches to recruiting fall through.

I give that as an example. It’s easy to think about this in terms of, “What’s the cost of me doing this in terms of my time?”, but if you fast forward and think about, “What’s the cost of me not doing this? If I find myself in the situation of someone who’s really struggling rather than someone who’s got these opportunities coming to them.” Then I would say that the time cost feels a little more balanceable, and a lot easier to find a way of accommodating your day to day routine. So that would be an example I’d share.

In terms of time scales, one of the things that I’d really encourage you to do is decide where you’re going to be active, where you’re going to try and help people, where you’re going to try and have an impact. Maybe focus that on just one or two sites, then work out ways that you can be super efficient.

So for example, if you’re looking to share content for a particular audience, so you want to find things that are going to be valuable on certain themes. There are tools out there that you can use to find that content really quickly. There are tools out there so that you can use to have that content shared from your social media accounts automatically during the course of the week. Then you just check back in to see what interactions and interest that’s produced.

So a lot of social media is actually about investing that little bit of upfront time setting yourself up to be super effective on an ongoing basis. If you do that well, and one key thing I would stress here, is getting the apps onto your smartphone. If you get the apps to do these things onto your smartphone, then you can use dead time. That time that you’re waiting for a bus to arrive or you’re waiting in the canteen line for your turn to be served. You can use that down time to do something productive that’s going to position you and help you for years to come in your career.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah.

Tony Restell:

So it’s all about using your time smartly and using tools to be as efficient and effective as possible. Does that make sense?

Mac Prichard:

It does Tony, and I love the example that you shared and the benefits of the why here; why should people do this and what might they see at the end of this process. Your tips about the how were very specific about how people might approach this on a daily basis. Can you talk a little bit about the strategy? For example, I’m guessing that the students that you saw at the end of the academic year who were weighing offers from different companies, they had a strategy when they thought about the kind of content they wanted to share, the places they wanted to hang out online, the conversations they wanted to be a part of. What did those strategies look like, so that people did use their time as effectively as possible?

Tony Restell:

That’s a great question, and when I’m talking about getting results through social media specifically, I’m always really focused on two elements of that.

The first is, what reach have you got to the types of people that you want to be having conversations with on social media? So it’s important to focus on which sites, which groups, which types of updates, are going to give you the most reach to the types of people that you ultimately want to have conversations with?

Then the second part of that is focusing on conversion. So what can you do to make sure that as much of that reach as possible converts into conversations that ultimately go on to be beneficial?

If I give you an example here with LinkedIn, what a lot of those students have done is, firstly, really focused on having a headline on their LinkedIn profile that draws attention to themselves, their expertise, their USP, what type of career path they’re looking to pursue. In the case of business school students, when it is that they’re actually going to be graduating.

What that does, if you then become active on LinkedIn, whether that’s you’re appearing on people’s home page feed, or whether it’s you’re going and being active in specific niche groups for that industry. What it means is that everyone time someone sees you on LinkedIn, they’re reminded about what makes you special and what it is that you’re ultimately looking to do when you graduate.

So in those examples, the students would be talking about that they’d have a USP in their headlines. So they might say they’re trilingual, or they might say they’re a scholar student, or they might say they’re a top performing sales person. Something that draws the attention of a potential employer or a recruiter. To be interested in their profile rather than just saying that they’re an MBA student.

Then talking about what they are aspiring to achieve in their careers. Maybe they’re looking to pursue a career in digital marketing, or in management consulting, whatever it might be. But then every single time their name and headline appears, when they’re active in those LinkedIn groups for example. Everyone in those groups who sees them and is interacting with them is reminded that that is the career direction they’re looking to pursue when they graduate. Then in the case of a student that is graduating, obviously specifying the date will they will be graduating focuses people’s mind on, “When is the window of opportunity when we could hire this person?”

That’s a great example of being active in those groups, for that specific niche organization gives you the reach to a large number of the right people in that industry. Then having a headline that really causes people to want to click through and have a look at your profile, and to constantly be reminded of when it is that you’re graduating and what type of role you’re looking to secure. That encourages the right kind of conversations to start.

Then the upshot of that, for those types of students, they get throughout the school year, loads of people in the industry looking to connect with them. So they’re getting inbound requests for connections from people in the industry they want to get into. Then as the school year progresses, they start getting people approaching them saying, “Hey, I really enjoyed our conversations in that LinkedIn group. I wondered if you’re still looking to get a role in our industry? Because we’re actually hiring at the moment. Would you like me to put your resume forward for you?”

Mac Prichard:

I love those examples, Tony, and particularly you’re emphasis on being clear about what you offer, and knowing as a candidate or student or someone at any point in their career, where you want to go. What you’re outlining is somewhat of a long game; these conversations are happening over a year or two perhaps, for graduate students. But the benefits are clearly there.

Well this is a terrific approach. I appreciate you sharing it. Now Tony, tell us, what’s next for you?

Tony Restell:

So the big focus for us at Social-hire, Mac, is really just scaling the business. Recruitment teams around the world love what we do. We’re working on several hundred social media profiles right now, but what we’re really focused on is multiplying that number significantly. Making sure that we maintain the quality and the engagement that we achieve on our client’s accounts. So it’s all about scaling and becoming more and more global for us.

Mac Prichard:

I know people can learn more about your company by visiting your website, social-hire.com.  People can also connect with you on Twitter or find you on LinkedIn.

Tony, thanks for being on our show today.

Tony Restell:

Absolutely, my pleasure. Thanks ever so much for having me.

Mac Prichard:

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio after my conversation with Tony. What are people’s thoughts or reactions to the tips that Tony laid out?

Jessica Black:

I really liked that he made a note about making sure to focus on where you want to spend your time and your energy. I think that’s a really good note, instead of trying to do it all, hone in on where specifically you want to contribute your time. I think is just a good note in general.

Mac Prichard:

I liked that too.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

You’ve got to focus.

Jessica Black:

You have to focus, otherwise you’re going to burn yourself out, you’re going to try to do too many things, and you’re not going to be able to do as much as you want to.

One thing I did want to just bring up really quickly is that I was hoping he was going to talk a little bit more about how to pay it forward and help other people. Maybe he might be helping people in a different way, but I felt like there was a lot of focus on how to be efficient in doing all of this stuff and connecting with people, and doing a collaborative job search that way. But I was hoping there was going to be more about how to pay it forward and help people.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, like how to decide how to give to people, give to someone specifically.

Jessica Black:

Right. I mean I liked his notes about being really specific when you’re on LinkedIn so people can help you and know what you’re asking for and what you are looking for, so they can be watching for opportunities. I think that that’s really important. But I think, and maybe this is just my expectations vs. reality sort of situation, where I was thinking that there was going to be a little bit more about how to do some hands on contributing with individuals during the job search. I was hoping he would talk a little bit more about that.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. Well sometimes it’s hard because of the limited amount of time that we have.

Jessica Black:

Of course.

Mac Prichard:

The example that he shared in the blog post that I read before that he wrote about this, was if you’re approached about a job or piece of business, and it’s not right for your company, or for you personally, tell others about it, or make referrals. That’s a specific way you can do favors for others without expecting to get anything in return.

Ben Forstag:

Well I also think when you’re talking about your activity on LinkedIn or other social media channels, implicit in that is that you’re sharing content of value that’s going to make other people’s lives easier, better, more enjoyable, more joyful, things like that. As opposed to folks who go online and only use social media to post bachelor updates or other stuff.

Jessica Black:

Or for their own gains, yeah.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah so I think you can be helping other people if you’re constructively adding to conversations and dialogues that are going on online on social media. Yeah, it’s not as hands on as you were maybe thinking, Jessica, but I think there is an element there of helping other people out. But you have to focus on value first and any benefit to you being way down the road.

Jessica Black:

Absolutely. No, and I thought he laid it out really well in that. Again, I think it was just expectation vs. reality, of what pay if forward evokes for me, was just a little bit more of that concrete steps. But these are all really good, and like you mentioned Mac, it’s sort of a long game, or laying the groundwork for long term success.

Becky Thomas:

Just one more note on that though.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Becky Thomas:

I think it’s important to have more robust relationships with the people in your network.

Jessica Black:

Yes, and that’s what I was kind of touching upon, is that I wanted it to be more of the relationship building.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Jessica Black:

More of the give and take that way. So say more.

Becky Thomas:

I think it’s about…a lot of times I think about the people in my network, sometimes it’s a super acquaintance level person, I don’t necessarily know what they need. I need to have those conversations whether it’s offline, in person, or messaging them and reaching out. Like, “Where are you at in your career?” That takes some on the groundwork to build those relationships, but once you have those ongoing, understanding people, and growing, deepening that relationship, it’s a lot easier to, when you do see that opportunity, to know who’s going to need it. Who’s going to appreciate it.

Jessica Black:

Exactly. That’s a really good note.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. I think you both are emphasizing another point here inadvertently, that we have different levels of relationships professionally.

Jessica Black:

Right.

Mac Prichard:

Some people you can touch and it’s a very weak connection through social media, but you can reach out to large numbers of people. I think what I liked about my conversation with Tony was he, to your point Jessica, talked about the strategy behind it. It’s not just about the number of tweets or LinkedIn posts, it’s where do you want to be? What do you offer? What difference can you make? If you do it efficiently you can reach large numbers of people. But to your point, Becky, you’re going to have a lot of different quality of relationships professionally. So each one is going to require a different approach depending on the level.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

Well thank you all for your comments, and thank you, Tony, for joining us this week, and thank you, our listeners, for downloading today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.

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Do things to help people in your network. Don’t expect anything in return. When you approach your career as part of a robust professional community, you’ll build goodwill with others who will want to help you in the future. Our guest shares tips for job seekers to use social media to pay it forward to their professional connections.

About Our Guest: Tony Restell

Tony Restell is the founder of Social Hire, a specialist agency that helps recruitment teams leverage social media. Previously Tony built and sold a successful job board business in the United Kingdom. He’s a guest speaker at leading business schools across Europe and a published author.

Resources in this Episode