I just finished listening to an older episode of Dick Gordon’s The Story. The segment was titled B.U.M.S. – Brotherhood of Unemployed Men’s Society. The group had two founders. Each chronicled his woe-is-me story of how he had become unemployed, and then continued to be unable to find work of varying long periods of time. Each had attended multiple other networking groups, which failed to produced qualified job leads or enhance their professional networks.
They decided to change networking through BUMS. The plan was to / is to meet at a bar, do some networking, and then hang out to play pool and have a beer. The perception is that the value of the connections enhances via social interaction. All this sounds great -- change coffee for beer, mornings for afternoons, conference rooms for bars, etc. Not surprisingly they have created a new networking group where they are more comfortable, but failed to change their situations.
These guys are not unemployed ditch diggers with no education, no applicable skills and outsourced jobs. One had significant database experience in the insurance industry and the other was a former city manager. How long do these guys (and other long-term unemployed) continue the job searching process that has failed to produce results: send resume, network, rinse repeat. Rinse & repeat works for morning shampooing but mostly fails to change economic situations.
Why do you quit beating your head on a concrete wall? Because it feels good to stop…
The change catalyst is entrepreneurship not eternally networking for someone else to give a paycheck and specific duties. Are all the problems solved for insurance and city management where they have specific experience? Why not attempt to create an enterprise out of BUMS?
Create your own opportunity.
The unemployed must stop monomaniacally seeking the next job and start allocating time to creating their own opportunities. Bill Gates didn’t send his resume to Microsoft asking for a sweet programming gig. Instead he jumped in with both feet to solve a problem for an emerging industry.
If BUMS really wants to change networking they must stop the networking cycle (12-step program opportunity here). Rather than enabling men to feeling like they are accomplishing sometime productive with their time by networking, put the skills of group to work now solving a problem and seek the pay later.
Change networking from looking to creating.