By Barbara Perone
If he hadn’t had a conversation with his sister, Steve Szabo may have never landed his new job as a Human Resources (HR) Director of PRIDE Industries.
Out of work for over two years, Steve started full time on May 21, 2013. He says he loves his new job, is earning more money than ever, and has great benefits. His new company is the largest employer, nationwide, of disabled people. Steve found his job on monster.com, had three phone interviews, an in-person interview, a fourth phone interview, and finally got an offer.
But, he may never have gotten the job without first talking to his sister.
One day, Steve told his sister (a teacher) about an interview he’d had with a company where he expected to get an offer; unfortunately, the job went to someone else. During his long job search, the same pattern kept emerging for Steve. He’d get close to being hired, and the job would go to another candidate. This same story is becoming an all too familiar tale among many of today’s job seekers. Close, but no cigar, a phrase from the mid-20th century when gentlemen who won games at fairgrounds were given cigars as prizes.
After hearing her brother’s story, Steve’s sister repeated it to a fellow teacher. The fellow teacher told Steve’s sister that her mother’s company, an occupational training center for the disabled, wanted to hire someone to work with those who have challenges. The job was temporary, the earnings smaller than Steve’s last job, and the position came with no benefits.
With no other offer in sight, Steve took the job and, to his surprise, found he really loved it! But if he had not taken that first step, he may never have landed his new position. Yet, the real story here is how simple networking, or teamwork, helped Steve land his new job.
To find a good example of how teamwork helps people get what they really want, look no further than the most famous double play in baseball history — known as “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
From 1902 until 1912, three Chicago Cubs players developed a winning double play combination that involved teamwork. Short Stop, Joe Tinker would throw the ball to Second Baseman, Johnny Evers, who’d throw it to First Baseman, Frank Chance, who’d tag a player out. Over & over this double play allowed the Cubs to win the National League pennant four times in four years. It took consistent team work among these three players to win those ball games and teamwork is an important part of networking.
And networking with other professionals is what Steve credits PSGCNJ with helping him to do, that, and allowing him to sharpen his skills. As a member of both the Membership & Training committees Steve says committee work taught him how to: go through an interview, speak in front of a crowd, improve his résumé, create a LinkedIn profile, etc.
The key points he took away from PSGCNJ were a few inspiring statements made by our former PSGCNJ CEO, Rick Verbanas, and his predecessor, our current CEO, Ken Hitchner:
- there’s no shame in being out of work, remember, it’s not your fault
- don’t be afraid to tell people you are unemployed
- try something new, outside of your comfort zone
- take a temporary or contract, position
- join a PSGCNJ committee, and, remember
- network, network, network
But the two most important things Steve credits PSGCNJ with were giving him back his confidence in his abilities and helping him to stay positive during his job search.