Networking is Just About Being Curious: Peter Russo’s Job Search Story

Everyone’s job search story is different, but each individual story can inspire and empower others who are on their own unique path. Peter Russo struggled with networking as an introvert. Until he realized it was just about finding out more about another’s person’s story. And Peter is good at understanding people – it’s a part of his job as a user experience designer. 

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I am a User Experience Designer at Jama Software.

How long did it take you to find this job?

I started actively looking in January 2017, and received an offer in mid-May.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

Three years ago I was struggling with how to shape my career, so I started working with Aubrie De Clerck, a career counselor. We looked at my entire career history, and she helped me in two key areas (in addition to introducing me to Mac’s List):

  1. Understanding my “threads” – the common themes in my previous jobs, positive and negative.
  2. Learning how to network.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

Networking always felt fake–it seemed like a transactional relationship. Also, as an introvert, my first couple of experiences with it were nerve-wracking. Reaching out to people, on the phone or in person, was terrifying.

It took somewhere between 3-5 informational interviews before it clicked; I wasn’t asking for anything except the other person’s story. While I don’t love talking about myself, I do love listening to other people and learning about them. That helped immensely.

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What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

When you’re listening to people talk about their job, pay attention to the parts that make you happy, excited, or jealous, and pursue those in yourself.

Why do you love your job?

My job is about understanding humans and making the work they do easier. Jama works with companies that do life-saving, innovative work. Working for Jama will help me make a difference in more people’s lives than I ever could alone.

Want to learn more about Peter? Say hi on LinkedIn and Twitter