Good lord, it can be tough out there. From today’s WashPost, a pity-inducing yet somehow inspiring profile of a young Peace Corps alum’s quest to find gainful employment. With all other methods yielding zero tangible results, the intrepid, fearless, and apparently void-of-ego Michael Volpe has taken to the streets and Metro stations of DC with a bright orange sign around his neck announcing the fact that he needs a job:
He has applied, among other places, at the Department of Energy, the State Department, USAID, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and scores of nongovernmental organizations.
He walked into the offices of National Geographic with his résumé. They suggested that he volunteer as an usher in their movie theater.
Ouch. Perhap even more impressive than Volpe’s persistence and willingness to embrace such a “when all else fails” method of job hunting is his ability to overcome networking shyness—the article tells of how Volpe is “soft-spoken and finds it challenging to muster up the courage for a public crusade.” I count myself among those who find it tough enough to muster the courage to attend a regular networking event, let alone hang a sign around my neck in public. But kudos to Michael for recognizing two important yet often overlooked keys to networking: 1) sometimes you just gotta suck it up, and 2) stay open to the unexpected—who knows what kind of connection might be made standing outside the Metro with a bright orange sign around your neck.