Sounds unusual doesn’t it – XBox Live is an online gaming platform that allows users to play each other using the Xbox game console. It’s not usually where you would look for work, well now it can be used for exactly that!

We’ve heard many stories recently about how people have landed their new job – through an an introduction from an ex-colleague; through another parent at a child’s daycare; through a blog; via a direct contact through a recruiter on LinkedIn; etc. These are all great accomplishments and congratulations again to those involved; but the most interesting story we heard was when one job seeker told us how he found work through a gaming friend on Xbox Live.

For the purposes of protecting his identity let’s call him Brad. Brad was laid-off last April from a bank that has recently been merged with another (not an unfamiliar story). For the first couple of months of unemployment, he took the normal route with recruiters and online job boards for the with no success. Then, he decided to target specific people from his past that he knew were working at banks or similar institutions. Brad systematically identified people that might be looking for candidates and got in touch with them directly or through other colleagues. However, there were a few for whom he didn’t have contact information. He tried LinkedIn for a few contacts and that helped, but he couldn’t find one particular contact.

He knew an ex-colleague on Xbox Live that would have the target contact details so he just had to find a way to ask politely. He began to spend more time on Xbox Live in order to find his ex-colleague, and to do so “naturally” within that environment. Now, he was also able to justify why he was spending so much time gaming to his wife;-). Then when he got the chance to open up a conversation he asked for the contact information of the mutual ex-colleague. Ultimately, this led him to start work through that contact at another bank in September last year.

For Brad, this worked out perfectly; but for you Xbox Live may not be an option. Perhaps you don’t have the Xbox console already or perhaps you don’t know anyone on there anyways? Well, that’s not the point! In this job market you have to build and leverage your network – doing so within an environment where you are most comfortable gives you the unique opportunity to set yourself apart.

Please share your story on the unusual way you have built your network in the comments section below.

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