I try to avoid Penelope Trunk, because she is mad annoying, but she seems to always show up. Most recently, she showed up here, not that I read Guy Kawasaki's blog--I don't even know who Guy Kawasaki is, except that he always seems to show up too, especially around Penelope Trunk--but something linked, and I clicked, and there she was, doing her usual "let me tell you how it is based on nothing but how I think it should be because I'm Penelope Trunk" schtick.
Let's not even talk about the "The glass ceiling is over" thing (especially if you're a professional WOMAN who feels compelled to tweet her SEX LIFE). But I was struck, as I always am, by this: "Only ten percent of jobs come from sending a blind resume. Most people get jobs by leveraging their network."
Here's where we get to the difference between me and Penelope Trunk. OK, just one difference, another being that I don't tweet my sex life, and a third being that, despite what I am about to say about my anxiety versus her chutzpah, I am not the one in therapy.
I've heard this a lot: all the career books and blogs and experts say that the way you get jobs is by networking, not by responding to ads. It's certainly been true for me. Have I ever gotten a job through an ad? Mmm, I did get one consulting gig completely blind. My job in No Longer Red State was advertised, hence my application, but I knew two people there, which surely helped get me the job.
Other than that: Camp counselor? Boyfriend's sister. College internship? (Same) boyfriend's friend. First job out of college? Former boss at college internship. Second job out of college? Semi-boyfriend's old friend whom I met at a dinner party. Oh, I did get a part-time job in grad school from an ad. Fast forward to East Coast Big City. First job? College professor. Second job? Friend of my mom's. Current employment? Main consulting gig #1 came from someone I met at second job. Main consulting gig #2 sort of came through an ad, but I think I had a name to drop. Just started a big chunk of work for D, and probably heading into another big chunk via a friend who has been insisting for months that I do some work for her company.
Now, if I were Penelope Trunk, I would say "Go me! Look how I worked those networks to make myself successful! Rah, rah, I am a poster child for the actual workings of the workplace economy."
But I am me, so I think "The only people who want to hire me are my friends, and that's just because they like me and take pity on me, so clearly I am a total fraud."
Hmm, maybe I would be better off as Penelope Trunk...
Edited to add: S, on the other hand, has gotten dozens of jobs from blind resumes in response to ads, though his current job, which is his Best Job Ever, was total connections, the main connection, of course, being me.
Edited again to add: Dawn just made me realize that the other piece of this is that I do occasionally apply to jobs that are advertised, including jobs that seem perfect for me, and just about nothing ever happens, which is probably one reason that I read my networking history as evidence of pathetic failure, rather than professional efficacy.