Over the course of his career, Don has built up a network of non-profits who are clients of his bank and, after speaking with them over the years, he eventually realized he had an affinity for affordable housing.
So, over the last few months, Don has been putting himself out there and searching for jobs in affordable housing with the same winning formula most successful candidates use.
In other words, he’s looking at job ads, doing some research, sending out resumes, and applying to positions “through the front door”.
As I said, this formula is what most folks typically use, because it works.
However, Don has a “secret weapon” that he hasn’t yet thought to use.
What is it?
He has a potential black book full of contacts in the affordable housing industry who could potentially be hiring managers – or at least might know some.
This is the black book he’s built up over 25 years of day-to-day interaction while doing his job (and it includes his clients, community contacts, and banking colleagues). Don probably doesn’t even realize it’s such a powerful asset.
If he were to contact them, do some asking around, and get connected, then there's a STRONG possibility that a few of his contacts are in the market for a new employee, or at least know someone who is.
With this method, Don would be able to skip the regular “front door” approach and take a sort of shortcut “through the inside door.”
But this strategy – the “inside door” – has never occurred to Don.
Because he's following all the same advice and strategies that seem to work well for everyone else.
Now there’s nothing wrong with doing what has always seemed to work for others. After all, it’s a winning formula for a reason.
However, he could probably get a job in affordable housing a lot quicker if he leveraged the personal network he already has available.
Taking the road less travelled this way is a solid example of something I often tell my private clients:
Your winning formula is the shortest and easiest route to success for YOU, and it's probably different than what most other people will do.
That's because you have unique assets, strengths, skills, experience – and contacts – that could help you get there faster than traditional approaches.