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Engage Your Network During Career Transitions

You want a new job. Something fun. Something exciting. Something interesting. A job that is not a job but your passion. But where do you find that life-changing job? Of course, after reading Eat, Pray, Love, soul-searching under the Italian sun might sound like a good idea – but there is a much easier (and generally more successful) way to find your true calling: your existing network. And before you think, ‘But I liked the idea of finding myself while eating fancy Italian food’; know that we do too! But finding a new job doesn’t have to be that hard if you activate one of the biggest sources of career growth: the network of people you already know.

How I Got My Job

It’s no secret, we at Seuss Recruitment love helping a candidate find the position that will launch their career and life down the best possible path. But we’re also always amazed by how many people we work with who miss maximizing the goldmine of leads they’re already sitting on. Your network doesn’t only consist of the people you have worked with or your relatives, but also the friends of your friends, your neighbors, the colleagues of your brother or the daughter of the cleaning lady – basically, everyone around you. There is no need to constantly go to network events and share your business cards. You’re already meeting people all the time! Don’t get us wrong, new contacts are important, but your existing network is already a great place to start searching for jobs.

Being an art historian myself, I would have never thought of becoming a pharma recruitment consultant in the life-sciences industry. But I met a fun friend of a friend at a party and she told me about her cool job at Seuss Recruitment. A few months and a lot of intense training later, I was talking on behalf of Seuss Recruitment with quality managers, marketing directors and CRO business developers about new positions. Sounds like pure luck – but we all have opportunities hiding somewhere in our existing network.

How to Do It 

  • Start with the question: who do I know? And with whom would it be useful to talk about finding a new job? It will surprise you how many people you might know in different fields who are able to help you with this.
  • Don’t forget to keep tabs on the people you’ve already worked with and check in from time to time. Everyone likes to help people, in finding new career opportunities or otherwise, especially if your former colleagues liked you.
  • When you want to try out something new – a new role, a new company, a new career – the safest place to start collecting valuable information and support is from the people you (kind of) know. So, why not ask your sister’s best friend for information? After all: if you want the information, go to the people who can provide it to you.
  • Assuming you have a good relationship, your current clients are often your most enthusiastic supporters – after all, they want you to do well so that they can keep using your services! And your success will definitely rub off on them.
  • At the very least, gently digging for some more extensive feedback on the work you’ve done so far will help you pinpoint what you should advertise and what you need to work on when pulling in new work.

By all means go to conferences and scroll through LinkedIn. But first take a look around at the next party you attend and ask yourself, “Who do I truly like here?” Chances are that person might be able to help you find the right connection for some good advice or a potential new job. And if not, at least you had pleasant conversation with a fun person – and who knows what that might bring you in the future.

 Frank Bolhuis is Seuss Recruitment’s founder of the fake “Bolhuis Award” and connects pharma professionals on a daily basis by using his unique network. Become part of Frank’s network by calling him at +31 (0)20 29 00 016 or emailing him at, and let him help you find new ways to grow your life-sciences career or company.