Why Networking With Unemployed People Is One Of The Smartest Career Moves

employment fair

Photo: Fairfax County via flickr

America’s unemployment crisis hasn’t abated yet, and most people know at least one person looking for work.How we respond to these people in our lives — whether friends, casual acquaintances, or future employees — could have major implications for our careers, writes Jon Picoult over at the New York Times. He says that those who ignore the unemployed are missing out on a huge opportunity:

“Those who shun the unemployed seem to view such interaction as an act of charity. As a result, they are less inclined to make room in their schedules, and in their thoughts, for them. But that logic is flawed — because people remember those who have helped them in time of need.

It’s something that successful companies have long known: when you evoke positive feelings in people or mitigate negative ones, you create the kind of emotional engagement that underlies most any type of loyalty, whether to a brand or to a person.”

If you’re tempted to dismiss someone for being a peripheral contact, it’s important to remember that research has shown that many of our most valuable connections are “weak ties.” And after all, you never know if or when you’ll be on the other side of the situation, either.

Picoult points out that recruiters tend to find employed candidates as more attractive; but it’s not impossible to get their attention, if you know how to sell yourself.

NOW READ: FORMER HEADHUNTER: This Is How You Get On A Recruiter’s Radar — Even If You’re Unemployed >

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