As I related a couple of blogs ago, one of the things I did was to do my best to obtain as many LinkedIn connections as possible to assist me with my transition. I knew I wanted to concentrate my job search on the Seattle, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas. So I reached out to all my LinkedIn connections who lived in these areas and had the job title of HR Director or VP of HR.
In the LinkedIn message I thanked them for being part of my network. I went on to say that I was retiring from the Army soon and that I knew there would be a difference between doing HR in the Army and HR in the business world. Finally, I asked would they have time for me to send a few questions to them about how best to make the transition to doing HR in the business world. Of note, I did not ask for a job or even for help finding a job.
Of the 200 people I contacted 45 replied and said they would be more than happy to talk to me and answer any of my questions and to provide advice. Some of them answered my questions through email, some by phone and others in person. But each one invested at least an hour of time with me. A few of them even gave me their home phone numbers so I could call them the same day they received my message. From each of these 45 people, I gained at least 3 more contacts from each one. From some of them I received even more introductions.
What I learned from this is that there are people out there that want to help Veterans. We just have to be willing to ask and be willing to ask the right people.
One of the people I reached out to was Sean Casady who was the HR Director for Trident Seafoods. He sent me a message with his number and we set up a time for me to call him. We had a good discussion with both of us asking a lot of questions. At the end of the conversation he said that he might have a position for me in a few months. A couple of months passed and he asked me if I could come to his office to discuss the position he had coming open. We discussed the position and he asked if I would be interested and my answer was yes.
He then asked me if I would be willing to speak to their Director of Operations for Western Alaska, Dave Abbasian. Which of course I said I would. I had a good conversation with him as well. After talking to both of them, they both said they wanted to offer me a position. So without actually applying or going on an “official” interview I was offered a position.
So this is how I came to yes in my job search. After applying to 187 positions, redoing my resume over and over and dealing with the black hole. I came to yes by taking a chance and reaching out to my LinkedIn connections. I am pretty sure that I probably would not have even been considered for this position without me reaching out to Sean
This is how I ended up with a successful job search. As I believe I said earlier, it does not matter how many negative responses you receive. All that matters is to receive one yes.
For my final blog covering this topic, I will cover some misc items that really did not fit in any of my previous blogs.
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