The chances are very good that somebody at the table could have introduced him to his next boss had he only mentioned that he was looking for a job.
Is it pride that prevents unemployed people from taking advantage of such opportunities?
According to someone I counseled over lunch, telling your friends and acquaintances you're looking for a job feels too much like "selling".
Here's what I told my friend: then don't "sell", ask for "advice".
After all, my friend was able to call me up and ask me for advice - proof that he knows how to do that. He survived an entire lunch hour talking with me about his job search - proof that asking for advice won't kill you.
So don't sell yourself to your acquaintances, just tell them you need their advice. They'll be flattered. They won't want to fail you. They'll ask you questions, you'll answer and then something magical will happen: one of your acquaintances will get wide eyed and exclaim "I know who you need to talk to."
That's when you say, "Can you arrange an introduction?"
Don't ask for "leads", ask for introductions.
Somebody you already know can introduce you to your next boss.
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