In praise of networking (or … WOW, this has been a crazy week)

My company recently shut down, effectively making me a free agent.

I was the senior manager, online media, for Canpages. I joined to reinvent Canpages.ca, a local search site that, despite looking like state-of-the-web-1997, was still pulling in 2.8M unique monthly visitors when I joined. I helped push that to 3.5M within 6 months, but the real reason I joined was a massive reinvention of the site and the service: device agnostic, mobile from the ground up, social baked into the DNA, gamification, you name it. Totally buzzword compliant 🙂

That’ll never happen now.

There had been some oddities, budgets not confirmed, contracts not signed. We were meeting on Monday last week and chatting about it. One of my colleagues had just said that we were probably being paranoid, when DING, into our mailboxes comes the dreaded all-hands-on-deck early-next-morning meeting announcement. On Tuesday the game was up and the dream was dead.

That afternoon I went home and started telling my network. Not everyone, just a hundred or so people in the Vancouver area. By Wednesday mid-day, I had 5 meetings set up for the rest of the week.

On Friday, I had calls from 2 others, asking for interviews in the following week. Keeping Monday for some blue-sky time, prep time for interviews, and one call with a recruiter, I had a killer Tuesday, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings, plus a number of calls interspersed. And on Wednesday, yesterday, I had a call with the HR director of a very interesting company in the mobile space, and a *great* initial interview with a mobile gaming/social company, with a follow-up scheduled for next week.

In other words, I’m avalanched. All this without checking job boards, without putting resumes up at Monster, Workopolis, and so on, without actually applying anywhere, and without ever once printing out a resume and carrying it, cap in hand, to a company.

A couple of things are obvious from this:

  • networking works
  • networking rocks
  • job-hunting has fundamentally changed
  • you have to network BEFORE you need the network
  • having a good online reputation is UNBELIEVABLY important
  • there is actually a pretty hot job marketing here in Vancouver for web/mobile/social talent

My biggest challenge now is ensuring that I take the right opportunity … not just one that presents itself to me early in my job search. I’m fairly blessed in that I have runway to take some time to choose correctly.

The role I take has to be one that …

  • I am passionate about
  • I’m eager to get up and do every day
  • has a great vision
  • is in a hot space
  • has good future prospects
  • allows me to use my talents and interests fully

I don’t need a job. I need a mission. There’s a couple possibilities to do this in the startup space, a few with others and a couple by myself, and that’s an option I’m also considering. As always, I’m open to input and advice 🙂

And for those of you who I’m connected with already: let me know what I can do for you. Always happy to oblige!

 


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