Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pay it Forward: Networking

The other day, a thought struck me. I had stumbled upon a company desperately seeking tech people: coders, programmers, app developers. Now, I can do none of those things. The information kind of whizzed past my radar into the ethers.

A few days later, I remembered: I have a friend-of-a-Facebook friend who is down & out in a far-midwestern state. She did some programming work for a startup; the company stiffed her (did not pay!) for something like 6 months' worth of work.

I was able to retrieve the information from the company hiring techhies, and forward it to her.

In the process, I also realized, I've just written a letter of recommendation for a former student with whom I've kept in touch on LinkedIn. This individual isn't a techhie; rather, she's applying for a job in applying social media to a mid-sized university's alumni, outreach, giving, and engagement goals.

Well--I know for a fact that higher education occasionally hires techhies. And I know that the two sources for almost any job in higher education are (1) Inside Higher Education and (2) The Chronicle of Higher Education. Both have websites; both advertise primarily faculty jobs; but both have an "other" category of jobs including tech stuff.

So I gathered that information and sent it along as well.

Will my down & out friend get a job from any of these leads? Who knows! But this is a real-life example of how leads can come out of the blue, through a strangely convoluted trail of networking: from the techhie 2000 miles away, to a friend I know personally in my local area, to me--a faculty member with absolutely no skill or interest in programming.

Will my down & out friend ever do me a direct favor? Possible, but not terribly likely. However, I have tried to put good works out there in the universe. If it doesn't come back to me in ways that I recognize--that's cool. But if it does--hooray!

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