Give me the name of any movie star and I can map the shortest path back to Kevin Bacon. I am a movie buff – especially an 80’s movie buff – so I find great satisfaction in playing this game and will happily rise to it any time a challenge is throw down. If you have never heard of it, the Kevin Bacon Game is based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which states that any two people on the planet are six or fewer acquaintances apart.
So how can Kevin Bacon and I ultimately link you to a job you will love? Though I cannot get him to come personally vouch for you during a job interview, I can use the concept of the game to search out the best position for you. How? Over 80% of jobs are never advertised. You can’t rely on website postings to find work you love in a company you want to work for. What I do is compile a list of your contacts and leads in order to start mapping out the shortest path to your dream job.
We begin with a shortlist of job ideas/companies/sectors you are interested in. Then we use the concept of 6 degrees of separation to source people inside these companies or with this job to help you pursue your goal. Many employers ask their staff to recruit people from their networks because of how effective networking is in finding future employees.
There are many ways to build out your circle of contacts. You can do it the old-school way and get a piece of paper and build your network by identifying contacts, and by linking and expanding those contacts. Spend some time brainstorming important contacts in your network. Make a list that includes the following people connected to your:
- interests, hobbies, social activities, clubs, associations,
- health, appearance, sports and fitness routines,
- spiritual or religious affiliations,
- children’s interests or clubs,
- family, friends, personal relationships,
- former work supervisors, coworkers,
- former school friends,
- contacts in training sessions that you have attended.
Having trouble? Here are some ideas help you get unstuck:
- review your email address list,
- review your list of Facebook friends,
- think about the people you come in contact with on a daily basis,
- develop a list of job ideas, companies, sectors you are interested in and who you know in those industries.
Now that you have your list of contacts, begin to talk to people about what your needs are. Networking and Sourcing Leads is a key component of your job search. It involves connecting with people and discussing the type of position you are looking for. It is up to you to determine the best way to make initial contact. You can connect with people via phone, email or by meeting with them in person.
And, while you’re at it, put the concept to the real test. How many degrees lie between yourself and Mr. Bacon? It might be fewer than you think.