By Crosby T. Pamberi
The story so far: This column seeks to make sense of seemingly senseless observations. If you have missed previous instalments, please email the author directly. The Zimbabwe Business Networking survey which aims to match up the opportunities in Zimbabwe with the capabilities of the Zimbabwean Diaspora is now open. Please click here to take part or paste this link into your browser: https://www.questionpro.com/t/APjltZfL0t.
Many years ago, a highly intelligent and hard-working colleague of mine applied for an internal vacancy at another division within the same company we both worked. He didn’t get the job. We shall call this guy, Murdoch.
Instead, the Divisional Head of that part of the business, hired another colleague. We shall call him Baracus.
Murdoch and Baracus worked in the same team. I worked in a separate but closely affiliated team. And from my interactions with the two I knew a few things about both of them.
Baracus was quite good at his job, but possessed nowhere near, the mental sophistication; vision; sheer talent and general intellectual heft of Murdoch. Putting the two candidates side-by-side; it was clear who the longer term best-bet was. In fact, the only area in which Baracus could be said to be better, was how outgoing and friendly he was compared to Murdoch who was more reserved. Baracus also played in the staff after-work football team – and through that had a lot of friends within the company.
In a world, where only merit matters; Baracus, while not a disastrous hire, should not have got have been hired over Murdoch. And Murdoch, even though he was a normally reserved character; and knowing clearly in his own mind, how much better he was, was so aggrieved by the injustice of the hiring decision that he told me the story. And the story, which I’ll keep short, goes roughly like this: The hiring manager was a keen amateur footballer and often played along Baracus in the company football team. And in Murdoch’s own words, which were so shocking to me at the time, that I remember them to this day: “The hiring decision was decided on a five-a-side pitch – long before the job itself was even advertised and I lost fifty grand because of it.” As far as Murdoch was concerned this was simply a nepotistic hire (someone giving a job to their mate). And at the time, I thought so too.
Eventually, our careers took our lives in different directions and we all went our separate ways. But somehow, that story stayed with me because that is the day I learnt about the power of networking and the translation of one’s networks into social capital i.e. actual money – fifty thousand pounds to be precise!
Fast forward to present day.
A friend of mine; who I shall call Face; was made redundant on the last Thursday of January this year. His salary was about £100k. I spoke to him on the Monday after the grim news. Naturally, I sympathised with his situation so I listened as he told me of his feelings of initial shock and disappointment. Then he continued, laughing, “…oh man, on Thursday I was not in a good place. But I was much better on Friday when I got in touch. I had just said to myself, ‘Right, I’m gonna text everyone I know to see who can get me a job!’”
Now, because I now understand the power of networking, I could easily relate to what he was doing.
Instead of trawling jobs websites or newspaper vacancy pages; how many of us can rely on our phone books to bag a job paying £100k? Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day but the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
And the first step to do that by building and developing one’s networks. And no matter where you are with your networking – whether an accomplished networker or a novice, if you would like to enhance your social capital, it would be awesome to see you at our networking event on the 21st of March 2020. Click here to book your space or paste: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/zimbabwe-business-networking-tickets-87914589905?aff=ebdssbdestsearch into your browser.
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Crosby T. Pamberi is the CEO of Heritage Pay
You can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Pay is a UK-based, international payments and money transfer company; specialising in money transfers for business capital investment; stock market investment; and commercial and residential property. www.heritagepay.co.uk
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are the author’s own and not necessarily those of Heritage Pay.