Tuesday, February 16, 1999

"Fast Company's" Company of Friends

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Special Elections and the Chinese New Year -- all on one day! February 16th held many surprises and treats throughout the day. The Ad Club brought together a roundtable of tapped-in people to discuss the telecommunications industry and down the street, "Fast Company's" Company of Friends group gathered in a classic Mountain Lodge setting within the Society of Illustrators on East 63rd Street. Nick Corcodilos of AskTheHeadhunter.com came to reveal how everything you thought you knew about getting hired or hiring is wrong. Through a series of surprise answers and revolutionary thoughts, Nick outlined how you cannot continue to search for a job in the traditional way. You must go about a job search as a reporter would investigate a company. You must research it, get to know the in and outs of it, and you must DO (demonstrate) the job you're asking for, not just use your resume to get it. These main points were flushed out and he promised he'd put his notes on the web site.

Toffee-colored paneled walls encased the bar and dining/meeting room on the third floor of this historical club. Paintings and illustrations of pin-ups ala Vargas' peered out at us dreamily as guests were checked in by the cheerful and efficient Sachin Shah (PR@vantage). I met Mark Priest, who just left his job of 14 years to start his human resources networking and mentoring business. He brought along friends Colleen Neilsen, who organized the CoF laser tag event and Gerry Fallon, who does event management and trip directing for large corporations. Also out for this compelling talk were aerospace engineer Tom Grzymala (Allied Signal), publicity manager Barbara Schear (MacMillan), and underwriter excess casualty for AIG Paul Rovelli. Sporting a terrific melon silk jacket, Denise Lalonde explained how she travels all around the world training sales forces how to be more effective for Holden Corporation (holden.com). An effective one she is, as she had the mind (rightly so) to put the crackers on the same table as the cheeses! The very Irish bartender poured "club style" strong drinks as Amita Guha (webmaster of Amarex), also looking sharp in a tailored silk black jacket, and I chatted about developing websites. The real wood-burning fireplace made everyone feel toasty and the ambiance of this wood paneled lodge unconsciously set people at ease. Mark Hurst of Creative Good and Adrienne Matt (journalist, editor) were there and met the two organizers of the NYC cell Pat Barrett and Brent Hodgins (account exec at McCann Erickson). After sufficient networking, we settled down and listened intently as Mr. Corcodilos told us to lose the rules you grew up with for job searching. He doesn’t believe in resumes--he believes in approaching a job search as a reporter approaches a story. Target the company you want to work for, research them and then go in and describe for them what you think their challenges are and what are your solutions for them. While some may have thought he was giving away his trade secrets, Mr. Corcodilos relayed that your biggest competition is a headhunter who coaches interviewees. Another point for his case is that just because you know what to do, doesn't mean you know how to effectively go about doing it. That's where Mr. AskTheHeadhunter.com comes in!