119: Shift your thinking to how you can help others - with George Gesior
About George Gesior
George Gesior is the founder of Positive Force LLC focusing on presenting and consulting in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT (Internet of Things). George is also certified as a SPEAR Coach.
George is the Executive Director of PONG (Professional Opportunities Networking Group); A group for people in job transition. George is a certified Score Mentor and a member of Advancing AI Wisconsin.
He received his master’s degree, specializing in AI from the University of Illinois Chicago.
You lead PONG (Professional Opportunities Networking Group), for individuals in job transition. How important is networking during the job search?
“So, in job search, networking is everything. We talk about the fact that about 75-85% of jobs are landed via networking.”
How do you see advanced technologies impacting networking and the job search?
“One of the examples is, things like in PONG we used to have a manual sign-in sheet. Today we do everything digitally. So, we have an app on your telephone and you just log in…”
How do you incorporate networking into your passions outside of your business?
“I always tell people networking can happen anywhere. So there a couple of things that I am really passionate about and one of them is cross-country skiing… Even when you're out on the ski slope its amazing how many business cards you end up getting.”
Share with us one of your best networking stories
“a long time ago I was in the Chicago area and I worked for Rockwell International. And I had a group I met at lunch and the guys and gals I had lunch with were always very helpful with information, I was pretty young. So, they were always telling me this great stuff and…”
How do you stay in front or best nurture your network community?
“I allocate time each week on my calendar. For me, if it's not on my calendar its not going to happen…”
What advice would you offer to the business professional who is looking to grow their network?
“… sometimes you get a little too focused on yourself and how to grow your network. Whereas if you shift your thinking a little bit and think about how you can help others…”
Digital networking or traditional networking?
“So, hands down I’m all about individual networking, in-person networking. But there is just no question that my ability to do that has been so much improved with digital.”
If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?
“Don’t be afraid to take risks. I tell people a lot of times, especially with people in job searches and networking... you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?
“I looked at this company and I thought it was pretty clear that if I wanted to help the company out I was going to have to talk to the CEO. I networked into a little lower in the company and that was really taking me anywhere…”
What book are you reading right now?
“It is called “Human Plus Machine” and its reimagining the workplace in the era of AI.”
Any final words of advice for our listeners?
“its something called informational interview… We use an acronym AIR, Ask for Advice, Information, and Referrals.”
You can get in contact with George at: