Is the Telephone dead?

Recently, I was out to lunch with a former client of my job search consulting practice.

The theme of the lunch was to talk about my service and how I might deliver a better product. I am happy to report the review was very good.

But one point stood out and I have been thinking about it ever since. My client remarked that telephone calls or what consultants ( including myself) in the outplacement field mean by networking rarely get returned and are just not effective anymore.

It made me think of my executive search practice and how I have been complaining about that for years. He is right.

So how do you network without the phone ? Paradoxically, the short answer is you don’t.

The transition between the age of the phone and the age of e-mail/text message is not yet complete. Even though, as a practical matter, your real networking will be most successful using electronic messaging, you still can’t afford to ignore the phone. In my judgment, therefore; you should not ignore the phone, just shift the emphasis from the phone first, to electronic first.

In practice, for each person you would like to network with, use multiple methods. For example, call and during your message (assuming you don’t connect live, still a possibility that makes trying worth the effort) say that you will follow-up with an e-mail or LinkedIn InMail or vise versa. In this way you cover multiple bases. The use of text messaging ; however, is problematic. There are still many people who don’t use it and of those who do, they might consider a text message from someone they don’t know an invasion of privacy.

In your job search it pays to be thorough and cover as many bases as possible.There may come a time when the phone is pointless. I don’t think we are there yet.

Thanks to Dwight for making me re-visit this issue.