Monday, September 01, 2008

Networking at work: a case study from the research

One of my survey respondents ended up being an interesting case study in the power of networking in the placement process. Here is his story.

Two seminary students (we'll call them Joe and Steve) were both going through the candidacy process at the same time; they were good friends, and had resolved not to view the process as a competition between them.

Joe found himself as the lead candidate for a position in a non-traditional ministry, and he pursued that position as far as he felt he could. As the process advanced, Joe did not sense a strong call to that position, and he felt that some of those on the search team felt the same way. In the end, Joe declined to accept the position-- even though it was offered to him-- and instead determined that post-graduate education was where the Lord was leading him.

In declining the position, Joe mentioned Steve favorably to the search team, and urged them to give him consideration. They contacted Steve and he quickly advanced to become their prime candidate, and they eventually offered Steve the position, which he accepted.

In reflecting on this, Steve said, "I wasn't consciously networking, but through the network the job found me."

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