In high school, I used to play the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” with a couple of dear friends. The object of the game was to connect an actor to Kevin Bacon through the movies they’ve been in in less than six degrees. For instance, if the target was Nicholas Cage, I might say: 1) Nicholas Cage was in Snake Eyes with Gary Sinise, 2) Gary Sinise was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon. That’s 2 degrees of separation. A fun game, of course, but who knew it would teach me so much in my life.
In Minneapolis, I had a network much like that of Kevin Bacon. I could connect to pretty much anyone in under six degrees. So imagine my fear in moving to a new city, not knowing anyone, and losing my easy six degrees game of networking. I was terrified. How would I “get to” the people I needed? How would I find my way?
Today, I’ve been in Chicago exactly 2 months. This morning, I applied for two jobs. The first in a large national nonprofit, I have a friend who knows the recruiter and asked her to put in a good word. The second, in a multi-national corporation. Two contacts from Chicago and three contacts from Minneapolis are connected to this corporation’s HR recruiters via LinkedIn. I’ve, of course, asked them all to drop my name to the individuals they can. And something occurred to me after sending all of these, “Can you get me to…” emails. I got my Kevin Bacon mojo back. I’ve been in Chicago 60 days, and while my network certainly isn’t as robust as my Minneapolis network, it’s getting there.
I’m feeling the love, keeping my options open, and knowing that with the network I’m creating, I might be less than six degrees away from my next big challenge. Bring it on, Kevin!