It's an age-old tradition. If you need to find a job, you talk to your friends. You get the word out.
But some people feel the need to sweeten the deal: a prize. Or if you want to look at the world with the "glass if half full " viewpoint: a bribe.
Recently, one of my high school friends told me how he has been offering a prize to his friends and family (and anyone) who can find his wife a job in the Dayton or Cincinnati, Ohio, area. Roger Loesch, 38, works for the Air Force but so they can fully support themselves and their two young kids, his wife needs a paralegal position, something she hasn't been able to find since they moved from Arizona.
And so he is holding, as he puts it, "a contest" to see who can find his wife, Amber, a full-time job as a paralegal. (If you have any leads, let me know in comments below or contact me). The winner receives a gift certificate to the Olive Garden or Red Lobster and two movie tickets.
"I came up with the idea because I had seen similar ideas in the news, and people were having luck in finding jobs," Loesch told me. "The prize started off as a dinner and movie for two, but at one point in time, I was thinking of upping the stakes to a season pass to Kings Island." (That would be a popular amusement park in the Cincinnati area.)
As Loesch noted, he isn't exactly the first to do this. A couple months ago, CNN mentioned how one 33-year-old named Jacob Share started an email chain with his resume and what he wanted out of a job and offered a cash prize of $150 to anyone who could get him a job as a Web development manager. It wasn't long before one of his friends forwarded it to someone they knew, and Share had his job, and his friend, presumably the $150.
And it didn't take me long to look on Twitter and find someone twittering about a friend who was offering a prize to anyone who could find her a job (I tweeted back to try and get details, but no such luck yet). And yet another person on Twitter mentioned seeing someone on LinkedIn offering $500 to anyone who could find them a job.
While $500 is pretty generous, it does seem like there's a useful theme along some of these people offering prizes for anyone who helps them land a new job. Make the offer just tantalizing enough that if someone has a lead, they'll pass it on, but not so expensive and lavish that you'll need your job simply so you can afford paying out your prize.
Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist who writes regularly for WalletPop.com and other publications. His latest article just appeared in FrontDoor.com, on how to tell if you should buy a house, sell it or just hang tight.
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