I learned that phrase many years ago when I took a (luckily) short foray into multi-level marketing just after college.
One of my friends has been hard hit by the economy. She had her car repossessed yesterday. But she is not letting anyone outside of her very close intimate circle know how far down the well she has fallen; I'm one of three people who know how bad her financial straits are. She is talking to recruiters, pursuing as many job avenues as possible, and networking as much as she can to get her head above water. From the outside looking in, she's surviving.
On the flip side I received a desperate plea for help from someone who really needs a job. His contact with me reflected it and I was surprised by how much actual work experience he had when I saw his resume because I expected him to be a fairly junior candidate, but he wasn't.
By "Fake it" I don't mean lie on your resume or misrepresent your skills. I'm talking about your professional image. With all the despair and desperation out in the world, it's vital to remain as polished and professional in your interactions in the job market; whether you are sending an email, going to a networking function, or having a phone screen or interview, you want to give your audience, whomever they may be, a first-rate impression.
So, absolutely reach out to your network for help and support. That is what they are there for. But don't make the mistake of trying to ask your casually professional contacts to be your anchor and your life jacket. Because I guarantee they have their *own* personal network to help keep afloat.
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