Is Fear Wrecking Your Career?

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: July 8, 2008 - 3:26 PM

Staying motivated and handling rejection are the keys to success with a job-search method that works 100 percent of the time – networking.

Kevin Donlin

Photo: Jamie Hutt,

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Here's an e-mail I got from a job seeker who knows how important networking is, yet is reluctant to do it. In other words, fear is wrecking his career.

Could it be wrecking yours, too?

Read on and see if this applies to you …

    Dear Kevin,


    As a job search veteran of three of the last six years, about the only thing that has worked consistently to get me jobs was somebody knowing me. When I have been introduced to someone with connections to a job opening, my success rate has been 100 percent. Even the interviews were a slam-dunk.

    The problem? Networking takes a long time, usually four to 12 months! It can be very hard to stay motivated and still have faith to keep looking, following up, and such. The reason is -- I'm not a salesman, I'm a technologist. Sales people have a built-in motivator that the rest of us don't. They're used to getting the stiff arm and handling rejection. Most of us are not.

    What are your thoughts?

    Michael B.


The good news is, Michael has found a job-search method that works 100 percent of the time – networking. But the problem for him, and for most non-sales people, is staying motivated and handling rejection. As a result, his networking efforts are taking four to 12 months to produce a new job. That's too long by at least half.

So, let's look at how to do two things:

1) Overcome fears of networking rejection and

2) Find out how to network into a new job in less than 4 months.

First, let's tackle the fear factor ...

Ask yourself this: What's the worst that could happen if you called someone to ask for a job lead?

Well, let's see. They might hang up on you. Or call you names. Or magically jump through the phone and choke you. Is any of this likely to happen? No, no, no. So, really, the worst anyone can do to you during a networking call is ... nothing. You really have nothing to fear.

It may help to keep this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche in mind: "He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how."

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