career

Want To Land A High Paying Job? The Go-To People In Your Network May Be Lowering Your Chances

Do you have more women than men friends at work? How about in the communities where you spend your free time?

All that women power could be hurting your chances when you’re looking for a job.

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman -- if you’re relying on your social network to help you find work and your contacts are mostly female, research from Stanford University shows your odds are weaker.

Why?

It’s not because your girlfriends won’t help you.

They will, to the best of their ability. If you’re a woman, they’ll try even more than they’d assist a man. In fact, if you’re a woman, you probably consider the sisterhood your go-to team.

“Women are four times more likely to ask for help from a female contact,” says sociologist Lindsey Trimble, in this post by post-doc Christin Munsch at The Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Yet, if you want to expand your career opportunities, there’s a reason to start networking with more men.

It has to do with access and resources.

Your women friends can’t help you find a job they don’t know about, and they can’t hook you up with resources they don’t have.

For instance, how many of your female contacts are in high-paying positions of authority and power? It’s no secret women have been shut out of the sweeter employment situations due to gender and wage discrimination. Add to that a tendency women have to get corralled into particular occupations.

Women also may not be able to draw on same kind of the influential networks men have.

It gets worse. A woman’s referral seems to convert less often.

When you act on a job lead from a woman, Trimble’s recent study shows your chances of actually landing the position are lower.

Of 600 people Trimble surveyed in Washington State, all the job seekers  -- men AND women -- were most likely to receive an offer when they networked with a man.

Trimble is a member of The Clayman Institute’s working group on Redesigning and Redefining Work.

 

Old School, Part 2: Would You Take Twitter Advice From Someone Who's Never Tweeted?

I wouldn't. Let's get more specific.

How about taking advice on social media best practices -- for something serious with high stakes, like looking for a job, becoming visible to recruiters, re-entering the job market after a hiatus or otherwise attempting a career change  -- from an advisor whose Twitter account is empty?

Existent in name only.

How about if it's April 2013?

How about if it's the same month that the Wall Street Journal declared The New Resume: It's 140 Characters and @WSJCareers held a Twitter chat about using social media to get a job, concluding it's all about LinkedIn & Twitter & a digital footprint that shows your best stuff.

(I participated in this blisteringly-paced and totally on-target chat that featured The Daily Muse's Kate Minshew. Some of the tweets are Storified here. Search for more with the hashtag #WSJchat.)

No?

How about expecting to get guidance on the latest advances in online career development at an event conducted by someone who thinks LinkedIn is exclusively for connecting with people you already know well rather than people you are loosely associated with professionally and want to grow closer to? Someone whose policy lets connection requests go unanswered while, creepily, LinkedIn alerts us she's reviewed our info-rich profile and decided that's a no.

Again, I wouldn't. Yet these are things I have witnessed and experienced recently.

Do you see where I'm going? This is not helpful. This is place holding.

Old-school is occupying the space where actionable help is supposed to go.

 

And, if you find yourself thinking you don't need up-to-the-minute Twitter advice from a career advisor -- you're wrong.