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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
Lessons from Our Feathered Friends Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

A good friend of mine sent the "Lessons of Geese" story around our networking group this week. "Lessons From Geese" was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network and was based on the work of Milton Olson. Not only can we learn about searching from the geese, we can also learn how to behave once we land.

FACT: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others. Abby says: This is why networking is so important – by helping your fellow job seekers, your ride will be easier. Once you land, teamwork is critical for on the job success.

FACT: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies to the point position.

LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources. Abby says: Find a job search buddy who is searching for a similar role in a similar industry. Do not be concerned about competing. Two heads are often better than one. Compensate for each other's weaknesses and you will get past the challenging times together.

FACT: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek. Abby says: Join a networking group for some old fashioned honking. If you don't find honking when you get there, join a different group. Spend the most time with the friends and family who honk the loudest.

FACT: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

LESSON: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong. Abby says: No matter how badly you feel right now, you can always find someone who is in worse shape than you. Find that person and help them find their way the way that others have guided you.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
There are lessons to be learned from everything – you just have to open your eyes to see them. The next time that you see a flock of geese, think about whether you have learned their lesson. Are you helping enough people or are you just asking for help? Make it a goal to help someone with something every day, even if it's your child with their homework. You'll be glad you did.
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!