It’s been a busy week, and while I haven’t the opportunity to blog over the past few days, I’ve been noticing a common theme among the wave of positive interactions and job search developments I’ve witnessed as of late — which is that they all involved people asking for, and receiving, help!

I wish I could go into specific detail about all of the events that have contributed to this observation, but alas, I have to preserve a certain level of confidentiality for many of the people involved.  Still, there are three stories I can pass along that should serve to illustrate the basic point I’m trying to get across.

• One client wrote to share that he’s been actively publishing news of his job hunt and career goals on a wide range of different websites and on-line networking groups, even ones where he doesn’t know any of the other members.  The results of this effort?  In his own words: “I am astounded by the number of people who have replied and have directed me to others.  I have no idea what the final outcome will be, but it proves that people really want to help, but they need to know you need their help!  My point in mentioning this is that I’m finding help from people I don’t know…maybe moreso than people I do know!   I just thought you might be interested.  Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask….”

• In another case, a business acquaintance of mine, Dave Friant, sent along a note to announce that he’d finally gotten around to writing and publishing a book that he’d had in mind for 26 years!  He not only wanted to share news of his new publication (definitely check out www.thecardboardboatbook.com if you’ve got a moment!) but to also have me mention to all of you out there that if you’ve got extra time on your hands, due to unemployment, it can be a great time to “complete old projects and dreams that have been on the back burner.”  I thought this was a terrific point and I appreciated the fact that Dave was moved not just to talk about his own recent success story, but to help others realize the same sense of pride and accomplishment.  He also offered, graciously, to chat with any of my clients who might be interested in learning how one can get a book published for less than $300 these days and distributed via Amazon.com!

• In a final example, a client of mine recently asked me whether I thought high school guidance counselors would be a good source of business leads and open to partnering with an outside consultant specializing in college placement.  This was an important question, since pursuing this marketing avenue could turn out to be either be a stroke of brilliance or a huge waste of time.  Not knowing the answer, however, I connected this individual to an acquaintance in my network who I only know in passing, but who proceeded to write a MASSIVE e-mail back within the space of a few hours, validating the idea in question and suggesting all sorts of ways my client could approach this avenue successfully!  Could this person have just blown the request off?  Absolutely.  But once again, I was reminded of how incredibly generous most people can be, when you give them the chance…

The bottom line?  While each of these stories is an island unto itself, and relates to a completely different business or job search need, collectively they form an archipelago of evidence suggesting we can all continue to have faith in human nature — and that most people are still open to providing a helping hand to those courageous (and humble) enough to ask for it.

In fact, in a very real sense, it might be a wise idea for professionals in transition to completely reframe the concept of a job search into that of a “research project” instead.  This might actually be a more accurate characterization of the attitude and activities most likely to result in success.  What’s more, viewing the job search process from a research lens forces job hunters to confront two critical questions right up front in their search: (1) what kind of help do they need? and (2) who are the people most likely in a position to offer this help?

Figure these two questions out, and lo and behold, you’ve instantly got a crystal-clear networking roadmap to follow…[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]