Archive for September, 2008

Based on my recent posts I’m sure you know that my company is moving to Pittsburgh, and I am not, which means I’ll need to find a job pretty soon.  Last night some co-workers from my old job were having a happy hour because one of the remote trainers was in town.  Since I keep in touch with all of them (I have no problem networking with people I already know) they invited me.

We went to a local bar.  We were having a good time, our own little group sitting/standing in a circle talking about old times, new times, what we’re all up to.  Unbeknownst to us it was karaoke night, and some of the local idols starting entering the bar so they could get their sing on. 

A middle-aged blonde woman starts to stand next to us, and asks for an empty chair so she could sit near us.  One of the old co-workers went ahead and gave it to her.  She started joking with us, talking about who works where and does what.  I figure it’s a good chance to network, so I ask her what she does.  She said she works for a company I had never heard of.  I never heard the name before (which I guess is kind of odd, since after talking to a couple of friends about it they all said I should have walked away).  So we started talking and I asked if they were hiring and she gave me her number and I gave her mine.  (Boy did I surprise the girlfriend when I told her I asked for another woman’s number at a bar!). 

So anyways, I end up telling my friends the story and how I want to google the company because I had never heard of it.  When I did a quick search on just the main site I saw that they were a sub-division of a major financial company, so that had me thinking they were legit. 

However, when I started looking at other Google hits, right away I start seeing some shady results.  It seems they do a lot of ‘recruiting’ and that’s how they make their money…you climb the ranks by the people you recruit etc and you get a percentage of commissions…and I saw one web site where a guy said he was told he’d have to pay a $199 fee to cover something within the program he was getting involved in. 

I’m a firm believer that you should never have to pay some sort of entry fee in order to get paid money in a job.  I also noticed they try to pitch it as, “Hey anybody could do it! No degree required!” 

The whole thing just seemed really, really sketchy to me.  Thinking back I saw her write her number down and exchange numbers with the guy to the left of me as well…I bet it’s her way of recruiting people.  I’m almost tempted to have her call me so I can just flat out say “Listen, I’m sorry…after researching the company I got a really bad feeling about it, it’s just not for me.”  Then see what her canned response is and then tell her to have a nice day.

It kind of reminds me of how American Express Financial Advisors changed into Ameriprise Financial.  In a way, I feel like the parent company wants to distance themselves from the insurance companies in name, but benefit from the sales.  (I’ll save my story on my Ameriprise experience for another time). 

So my first attempt to network with a random stranger went sour…I’ll keep trying though.

On a different note, I’ll keep you all posted on the job search.  I have until November 1st (and technically February 1st if you count benefits) before the going gets rough.

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