job seeking

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.


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.


Job Seekers & Career Pathfinders: Identifying Our Assets Is Just One Part Of The Puzzle

At my GlobalNiche LinkedIn group, I've been talking with , a soft skills trainer and interpersonal communication coach at Knowboundaries Coaching and Training...

Stephenson writes, "In building the resources and opportunities its important to use all our skills and talents built up over the years, tasks which we carried out excellently in the past may be redundant now - but the skills are transferable, and its well worth recalling those skills and acknowledging them."

My response:

Acknowledging our skills and talents is good. But it's not enough to "remember" things we did that were extraordinary -- we also have to communicate them. That has to be part of the plan, too, especially if we're hunting for employment or want to be found.

How do we best demonstrate that for the greatest impact in our career and life satisfaction opportunities?

The work I do with GlobalNiche stresses that identifying our valuable content is just one part of the puzzle. We need to be active in our fields and interests regardless of whether or not we are employed by someone else to operate in those fields. In general, the concept of building a global niche is about creating a platform for yourself to cultivate your opportunities.

If I were looking for a job in this tough market, I'd be doing exactly what I am already doing with my own global niche -- sharing and participating and being visible with who I am and what I am interested in and what I've done in the past and what I am doing now and what I am aiming to do in the future.

I'd be my own ideal candidate.