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Six Degrees Between You and Your Next Job

Ben Blaney< Ben Blaney July 8, 2020

Chances are, you’ve at least heard of Six Degrees of Separation – the idea that six degrees of separation connect any two people on Earth. I also like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where any actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon in just six moves – and the count of those moves gives the actor a “Bacon score.” The theory is that Kevin Bacon has been in so many movies that the game is easy. 

But a while ago, it was calculated that Rod Steiger was actually much better connected – three moves maximum to any actor around.  That’s not because Steiger had more roles; it’s because Steiger appeared in roles representing a diverse range of genres – Westerns, dramas, and others.

The social science behind ‘Six Degrees’ dates back to the 1920s and the idea of chains of ‘friend of a friend’ even fueled thoughts behind the earliest social media platforms. The concept is also really helpful when you’re networking for a new position.

Connecting progressive companies with good people

Last week, I caught up with an old friend and he shared with me that he’d been impacted by COVID-related re-structuring at his workplace. I asked if he had target employers, or places he’d really love to work. He named four quality organizations, and it turns out that I know people in similar functional areas at three of them, and one quick phone call to another friend got an introduction to a VP of HR at the fourth. That’s two or three degrees of separation between my friend and his potential hiring manager. Fingers crossed that one of these turn into a mutually beneficial relationship.

On the flip side, I’ve had three conversations in the last three weeks with large organizations that are looking for top notch commercial excellence talent. The reason is obvious. The pandemic is driving organizations to quickly and effectively change how they go to market, and the true new normal is constant, evolving, rapid change. For that, organizations need A players.

Now is a very tough time to be looking for a job.  I sympathize deeply with anyone in that situation right now. So, to that end, I’d like to make two offers:

  • If you’re a commercial excellence professional and you need a job, we know people.  
  • If you’re a company that seeks top tier talent, we know people.

This matters because not all jobs get advertised (and even if they do, the right people might not see them), and not all traditional applications get reviewed (and even if they do, sometimes they get passed over). By using your friends at Vendavo (or any other professional or personal contact you may have for that matter) as a linkage, there’s an enhanced probability of getting a good pairing.

We aren’t looking to enter the match-making business. But we do meet with a tremendous number of high-quality companies, and we know a number of high-quality candidates. If software jobs is something we can do to smooth the way for our customers, prospects, and friends – I’m all in.

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