Sometimes the solution is right in front of our eyes. But instead of simply asking someone who knows – we stubbornly insist that we don‘t need help.
Lydia* was used to solving her own problems. She made her career in a male dominated industry and was as tough as she was smart.
It wasn‘t easy for her to admit: „I’m stuck.“ Not only stuck, but stuck at the very first step. Absolute noob level. That hurt her pride.
This was the problem: Lydia had read my book. She agreed: Her best option for a significant career step was to reach out to the hiring managers directly. But that proved to be nearly impossible.
She could send contact requests to managers on LinkedIN, but they would not accept. Or if they accepted, they would not engage. She knew that the reason for this probably was that she didn‘t add a message to her contact request.
Those who value their professional network will not accept a contact request without a message. They see that the value is in the quality of the network, not the size. At the same time these are the very people who can move your career dramatically forward.
Lydia understood all that – There was only one friggin‘ problem:
LinkedIN had no option to attach a message. She searched everywhere. Should she upgrade to LinkedIN’s premium service? That way she could contact the right people, but only 5 per month. Reaching out to – quite literally – a handful of managers is not a strategy. It‘s playing roulette and hoping for the best.
At the same time she read my emails, where I nonchalantly talk about „always add a message to your contact requests“.
It drove her nuts. “Could I simply be too blind to find the right button on LinkedIN?”
Finally, she was fed up. She wrote me an email to find out what was going on.
Here is my reply:
„Hi Lydia, do you use LinkedIN via mobile? The mobile version of LinkedIN doesn‘t have the option to add a message. Use a computer. You will get one of two options to add a message. (See screenshots.)“
Right now: Where do you feel stuck in your career? What would be the one problem that you would like to solve today?
*The name is made up. The story is true.