Last year at this time I was telling a Minnesota IT Consultant friend of mine, “You have to start networking again. This market is starting to change, starting to slow and you need to be ahead of the curve.”
My friend is very talented and well connected but lazy when it comes to staying in touch with people. He has always has been but always had been able to get a new gig within 2 weeks of the previous one ending. With the market being good he would treat the 2 weeks as a vacation or a chance to do other things.
We knew his contract was coming to a close at the end of November after a 16 month run.
He kept saying, “Dude, I do not have the time or energy. I do not have time to attend industry events and my LinkedIn profile looks fine.”
He was right about his LinkedIn profile. It was and is still fine. But the issue with the logic is saying you are on LinkedIn and using LinkedIn, two very different things.
Even with the market slowing down he would have been able to get his next gig. He is that good. But then the slow down became a stall.
And then he started marketing himself AFTER his gig ended and slots were filled. Projects were planned and staffed. He found himself on the outside looking in.
One of our friends said, “I thought you would be at XYZ until after the 1st of the year, why did you not say anything? You know we would have taken you on.”
So what did he lose? A lot:
15 weeks x 40 hours = 600 hours
600 hours x $80 an hour = $48,000
Here is the moral to the story, you need to manage your career the way you manage maintenance on your car, doctor check ups and your next family vacation.
Do not have time to manage your career?
You cannot afford not to.