July 12, 2023 - JOLT - A JOLT of Summertime Connection Savvy - CareerGuy.com

July 12, 2023 – JOLT – A JOLT of Summertime Connection Savvy

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Jul 12

“I like chance meetings – life is full of them. Every day, without realizing it, I pass people whom I should know.”

– Krzysztof Kieślowski

Summertime Aspiration Intelligence

Many folks consider summertime and the end-of-the-year holidays a career dead-time, meaning they don’t plan on making any significant inroads on upgrading their work or business situation. They figure everyone is out playing with their mind on other things.

If you’re on my newsletter list, you’re not one of those who believe that! Congratulate yourself.

Because, if you know anything about my philosophy of lifetime career management and the “backdoor” approach to career elevation, you know that these times are the BEST! Connecting with people in the casualness and ease of playtime and joviality can create miracles in life.

You never know who is standing or sitting right beside you: in the beach chair, in the theme park concession line, or in your coach or business class row on the plane.

In Chapter 1 of Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest, I offer some “Rules to Start Breaking.” Here’s a rule to break that applies so abundantly now (and during the holidays) when you’re rubbing elbows with way more people than at any other time of the year.

Don’t Bother People
This is a major voice of early programming that ensures that “salespeople” will always have a special place in society–because they transcended this voice! Whether it was a busy parent we felt intimidated to make requests of or some particular incident that had us believe we were a nuisance, the idea that we shouldn’t bother others took hold.
The truth is that, outside of our deeply ingrained fears of rejection, we all love to interact and participate with one another! The point, yet again, is that folks live inside their safe little worlds and don’t reach out or let in what could help. Your “bothering” someone to start a conversation with them in the line at the grocery store may serve to transfer some information between you that could be helpful.

I’m not saying go out begging for what you need, or become the do-or-die Boy Scout forcing a reluctant old lady across the street. Just keep in mind that when we’re out pointedly finding ways to interact with others, we discover resources, knowledge, and information that moves everyone forward. Plus, we have an opportunity to be continually amazed at the profound truth of the simple statement: “It’s a small world after all.”
(Excerpted from Never Apply for a Job Again, Career Press, 2012, p. 34-35)

So, if you’re anywhere near a theme park and have that song pounding in your head, take it in: it IS a small world, after all. You’ll be blown away when you take the little effort to simply say hello to the person beside you.

They might just happen to be a CEO or thought-leader in an area who could open doors for you. . .or your next business partner. . .or your next life partner. . .or, who knows, maybe they just know where to find the best pizza!

Tips for Transition (of an AI variety)

Beginning in the last newsletter, with all of the hubbub around AI (the artificial, not aspiration, type of intelligence), here are some tips on how you can incorporate new gadgets into your career management toolshed.

They come from my wife, a talent & leadership/HR executive, who is cultivating new opportunities for herself. After being together 8 years, being professionally engaged and without the time to explore the science and practices of her career-coach husband’s transition program, she recently did and (understandable for those who’ve read Never Apply) is basing her “backdoor” research campaign on AI’s use in the HR and talent fields.

She’s meeting thought-leaders and executives left and right and learning more about AI than she ever thought possible. . .while also understanding and appreciating the strategy behind her husband’s career program. 😉

Here are some further tips she has to offer:

ChatGPT is a great tool to use in your Back Door Campaign!

As part of your Career Transformation Program, before starting on your Backdoor Campaign, you will choose a subject for your research project. ChatGPT is a great tool to use for researching your subjects of interest, to ready yourself with conversations with thought-leaders and influencers prior to scheduling your Backdoor meetings.

In my own Backdoor Campaign, I was researching the use of AI in Human Resources and found ChatGPT to be very useful in preparing for those meetings. For example, ChatGPT:

  • Offers suggestions, explanations, and summaries on complex topics.
  • Helps explore different perspectives and ideas related to the subject.
  • Helps brainstorm and generate ideas for research topics or questions.
  • Offers a quick and efficient way to gather insights and information for analysis.

NOTE: always check the facts and data provided by ChatGPT.

Prompt Tutorial – get advice from the best experts in your area of research.

To begin your research, start with a general prompt asking ChatGPT to provide information.

For example, put this prompt into ChatGPT:

“Imagine you are an [insert subject you are researching] expert with 30 years of experience and awards for excellence and achievement. Please give your best advice on [insert subject you are researching], drawing on research and best practices. Write your advice as an article using plain English and subheads to make it more readable.”

The article you get in response can give you a great starting point for the main topics and areas of development for the area you’re investigating, including some of the key players to be aware of. Then, ask follow-up questions and explore in different ways for more insight. You’ll be well-prepared to have initial Backdoor meetings even in topics you knew nothing about initially!

AI Tool Highlight

Merlin AI
Chrome Extension
Get ChatGPT and GPT-4 to work for you on any website. Merlin AI is an incredible assistant that combines advanced technology with a vast knowledge base. It’s there to support you, learn from you, and make your life easier by providing accurate answers, automating tasks, and offering valuable data analysis and predictions. It also summarized websites for you

Go try it out, and see what you get!

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

“Even chance meetings are the result of karma. . .Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence.”

– Haruki Murakami

About the Author

DARRELL W. GURNEY, Executive/ Career Coach and 20-year recruiting veteran, supports people at all levels to make fulfilling and profitable career transitions. His first book, Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters, was winner of the Clarion Award for Best Book by the Association for Women in Communications and was reviewed in Publishers Weekly. His newest book, Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest, has been endorsed by bestselling thought leaders such as Harvey Mackay, Keith Ferrazzi, and Dr. Ivan Misner. A personal and business brand strategist, Darrell’s Stealth Method of networking has helped folks expand their reach within both careers and new client circles. He speaks, leads workshops, and is a media expert on subjects such as recruiting, networking, and finding one’s passion. He was recently named Networking Expert for BeyondB-School.com and offers webinars and programs that get MBA students and working professionals out, connected, and landed.