I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. In it he recounts Stanley Milgram’s small world experiment, the original study about six-degrees of separation. (Which of course lead to the Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation game … but I digress.) This experiment really drives home how we all are connected and this story puts a personal spin on how.
When I first started interacting on Twitter, I retweeted J.T. O’Donnell, founder of Careerealism frequently. She thanked me, a conversation ensued and eventually she asked if I’d like to contribute to an upcoming article about resume writing. I happily agreed and contributed to “Hate Resume Writing? Here’s how to get it done” last March. Careerealism is based, I believe, in New Hampshire
In early June, following publication of that article, my phone rang. It was a young woman from Atlanta. “Mary” said she read the article on Careerealism, liked what I had to say and decided she wanted me to write her resume for her. Remember, she’s in Atlanta, GA.
The Saturday morning, after I delivered “Mary’s” documents, I got an email from a friend on Facebook. This particular person is the reason I’m on Facebook at all. She’s a long-lost friend from high school and sent an invitation to reconnect via Facebook way back when I was on dial-up. (You’ve not experienced Facebook until you’ve experienced it on a dial-up connection.) I dipped my toe in social media, thanks to Renee, and have been happily immersed ever since.
Renee is in Raleigh, NC. I’m in Atkinson, about 2 hours south, (outside Wilmington, NC). In this message, she shared an interesting dinner conversation from a family gathering the night before. Her husband’s cousin was visiting from Atlanta. She was recounting her recent move to the Atlanta area and subsequent job search. She told them she’d even hired a professional resume writer. My friend Renee mentioned she went to high school with someone who became a resume writer and asked who wrote the resume. Renee’s cousin-in-law said she found her writer through the Careerealism site and her name was Dawn. What?
Turns out Renee’s cousin-in-law is “Mary”, my client from earlier in the week. I was not only Renee’s high school friend turned resume writer; I was Mary’s resume writer, located through a Web site based in New Hampshire. What a happy coincidence. Because I accepted a Facebook invitation a few years ago, I developed a passion for social media. That involvement led to contributing to the Careeralism article. The article caught the interest of an Atlanta-based client. Later, we found the client was connected to the person who sent that original Facebook invitation.
Tell me it’s not a small world. The next time you think social media, networking and reconnecting with old friends is a waste of time, think again. The connections didn’t happen overnight. But because I was there, willing to participate, I expanded my reach, met new clients and colleagues and re-established conversations with old ones. We’re really not that far apart. And with all this closeness, you can easily see the power of a network.