Do As You Would be Done By

I spoke to an old friend today who still hasn't managed to find regular work back in the IT industry since the company he worked for collapsed last year. Seeing that I know just about everyone in this business, directly or indirectly, this surprises me because he's one of the most dogged and conscientious, Director-level, consultants any company might ask for and he's in his thirties and not dabbling at the edge of senility like me at forty-seven.

In the last six month's several people I know have found work and some have lost it again. One has gone on to greater things as Director of a leading software company and others are just getting by. What concerns me though is how people tell me that their so-called friends disappear when the chips are down. By this I mean they don't respond to email, even as a courtesy when someone asks if they happen to know of any opportunities.

This business relies on networking and yet some of us seem to believe in personal invulnerability. Joe Bloggs has lost his job with Acme Software, so tough but I'll never lose my job here.

Wrong. I've seen how far and fast the mighty can fall in twenty years and believe me, you need friends in this business. Those who know me might tell you that I will bend over backwards to help those going through hard times, even if it's only offering introductions to companies that 'might' be recruiting. "Do as you would be done by" was a famous line in the children's book, 'The Water Babies' and if you happen to be in IT, the odds are that your time will come one day as inevitably as death and taxes.

So if someone you know drops you a line, at the very least offer encouragement. Don't ignore them, life is tough enough for some people without demoralizing them further by implying they are not worth an email and one day, you might need a little help from an old friend or business contact.

If you need good people, you can always ask me and I don't charge an outrageous agency fee either.


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