I do some work with a local university trying to help students and give back to the community that helped me be where I am. And as part of the work, one morning I got an email from the Engineering Head of Department (HOD) of a Top 20 UK university.
The email was asking me to speak to one of the Engineering student who was struggling to find a job. HOD sent the email having pre-screened the student was academically doing very well. That’s one way of screening and a lot of (if not all) FTSE 100 companies look at academic grades in pre-screening job seekers.
Anyhow, as usual I was happy to support the student. I replied back saying the same and started a conversation with the student to arrange a catch up.
I was visiting the university next day and thought it would be good to catch up with the student and have a good chat. It was scheduled for 10 am.
Once I was at the university (in a separate meeting from 9am – 10am) I received an email, which I saw at 10am from the student, requesting to postpone the meeting to 11am. At that time I had already scheduled something… I couldn’t make the time and we decided we will speak on the phone in some time. It’s been 3 weeks now and we haven’t spoken.
And here’s the thing, someone can be an academic high-flyer, unfortunately, that doesn’t cut it in real world. In cut-throat competition and in a world where everyone is looking for one chance, you’ve got to look for half-a-chance and take it. I will still aim to speak to the student when we catch-up, but when someone wants to do you a favor, make sure you take it. Help isn’t like a bus – if one goes, another comes by… it isn’t. Instead it is like time, once it passes you are only left wondering ‘what if’.
So remember, in job search as is true of life,
You are not looking for a chance, you are looking for half-a-chance to make it
Don’t let an opportunity to meet / talk to someone who could do you a lot of good pass for anything. That’s true of any aspect in life!