Six degrees of job searching

May 17, 2010

In the NYTimes a couple of weeks ago, there was this article about chef and restaurateur Bernard Ros, who doubles as a clearinghouse for chef and food service jobs in New York and beyond.

Reading it reminded me of my return to Cleveland back in 1994, (I’d left Hawaii to be nearer Erin), where I was directed by a friend to a church basement to meet a woman who was happy to thumb through her Rolodex to find just the right person who might help a job seeker. I don’t recall that her referrals led to a job, but her generosity stuck with me. A few year’s later, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s classic Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg, which profiles a connector extraordinaire.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about these articles, and my experiences with mentors who made introductions on my behalf. I’ve been tapping into my own (albeit smaller) network of acquaintances as I try to help a couple of friends find work, and begin to consider what options there might be for me. (Calls for caution before tapping into your wide online networks — it’s hard to use social media to find work when you don’t necessarily want to lose your current post.)

The Triangle remains a vibrant place with an interesting jobs landscape, and I’m eager to see my friends find their next roles. Are you looking for work? Let me know, and I’ll share whatever I can. And if you’ve got a story of a maven like Ros or Weisberg — maybe you’re one yourself — do share.

Anton Zuiker

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