11 Ways Making Friends Can Help You Land Your Dream Job

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You can read all the business books and interview tips you want, but the surest way to score your dream job is to make friends. Here's why.

1. Referrals are the No. 1 source of hire.

It's hard to argue with the numbers: Research shows that in recent years, referrals have been the top source of hiring volume and quality. And it makes sense—Who can better recommend a job candidate than someone who chooses to share hopes, dreams, and brunch with said candidate?

2. Making new friends grows your network.

You know what's great about friends? They can help you make more friends. Friends with whom you can exchange business cards and "stay in touch" and who will keep you in mind should positions at their companies become available. Since companies pay dearly when they make hiring missteps—studies show that a bad hiring decision can cost the company 30 percent of the individual’s first-year potential earnings—employers agree it’s best to go with someone they know.

3. The people you meet early on will one day run the show.

Forming friendships with your peers at the beginning of your career can pay off exponentially down the road. Your fellow interns won't be interns forever, and when they’re running the show, you’ll be glad to be able to say, “I knew you when.”

4. Collaboration leads to new projects.

While referrals are the most common form of networking perks, they’re hardly the only positive result of workplace friendships. Finding kindred spirits in the office or classroom can also lead to some beautiful business relationships. When it comes to starting a new business, two brains are often better than one. Friends can inspire, motivate, and challenge you—which, coincidentally, are things you should look for in a business partner as well.

5. Friends become your support system…

Anyone who has spent time job-hunting or getting his or her own startup off the ground knows that looking for work is hard work. It’s draining (emotionally and financially), stressful, and can strip you of your self-confidence. So in those moments when you’re feeling down, good friends will help pick you back up and give you the push you need to keep going.

6. …and give the best advice.

Friends not only provide support in the darkest moments of your job search, but can also be a valuable source of insight. Mentors—your first boss, a college professor, or a veteran in your field whom you respect—can give you interview and cover letter pointers as well as share their vision for the future of your field.

7. Friends help you expand your knowledge base.

With nearly half of North American workers voluntarily changing industries (a recent study reports that, in 2012, 42 percent of workers changed industries in order to land a new position), chances are that you’ll be looking for more information about an unfamiliar field at some point in your career. Friends not only teach you about their specific jobs, but can also be a precious resource for talking through which of your skills can easily transfer to a new industry.

8. Social networking can increase your visibility and boost your reputation…

In the digital age, your virtual friends can be as important as your real-life ones. While likes and shares can’t fully replace face-to-face interaction, they are important tools for expanding your reach. By cultivating a personal brand online, you show potential employers that you have a personality. A vibrant online presence can help bring your resume and cover letter to life, adding color and voice to the usual HR-friendly qualities outlined in your materials. And, with studies reporting that as many as 94 percent of recruiters use social media for screening candidates, keeping your profiles up-to-date could lead directly to that coveted interview.

9. …and helps personalize your job search process.

When the usual networking channels come up short—there are unfortunately no friends of friends at your dream company—and you must resort to sending resumes out cold, you can still get an edge on your competition by incorporating social media into your routine. By connecting with a hiring manager online before an interview, you can put a face to your name, thereby strengthening your interpersonal connection—even before you’ve shaken hands. And with a reported 30 percent of all Internet searches being performed for employment-related purposes, it’s important to curate your online presence in order to get a (digital) leg up on your fellow hopefuls.

10. Workplace friendships buoy the office culture.

Making friends at work could be key to turning the job you already have into your dream job. When your job looks great on paper—its subject matter, salary, and benefits check all the boxes—the intangible “office culture” can often spell the difference between a job that’s fine and one that’s great. A recent study reveals that 67 percent of workers feel that having friends at work makes their job more fun and enjoyable. Liking your coworkers also leads to a more positive and productive work culture: 70 percent of workers feel that their workplace friendships make for a more creative and friendly workplace, 69 percent feel they increase teamwork, and 59 percent agree that they increase morale.

11. Friends give you a break.

While it’s great to be friends with your coworkers, having friends outside of the office and unrelated to your field can be just as—if not more—important to your career success. Putting all your time and energy into career building can cause you to burn out prematurely (not to mention dampen your mood, which can lead to additional stress and dissatisfaction at work), and such friendships help steady your work-life balance. Your friends and loved ones are there to help you power down your laptop and hit the town on Friday night. An unplugged weekend gets you poised for a rejuvenated Monday morning.

Our most personal ambitions are rarely achieved alone. Your network of friends, family, contacts and colleagues is the inspiration that keeps you aiming higher. HSBC knows that whatever your ambitions for the future, you are more likely to succeed with the help of a team. Together, We Advance.

To learn more about HSBC Advance, visit us.hsbc.com/advance

    HSBC is not responsible for the content of 11 Ways Making Friends Can Help You Land Your Dream Job. HSBC does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in 11 Ways Making Friends Can Help You Land Your Dream Job; and does not endorse the views they express.                                                                                           

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.

 

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle - $29

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11 Fascinating Facts About Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi is the toy that launched a thousand digital pet competitors.
Tamagotchi is the toy that launched a thousand digital pet competitors.
Chesnot/Getty Images News

They blooped and beeped and ate, played, and pooped, and, for ‘90s kids, the egg-shaped Tamagotchi toys were magic. They taught the responsibility of tending to a “pet,” even though their shrill sounds were annoying to parents and teachers and school administrators. Nearly-real funerals were held for expired Tamagotchi, and they’ve even been immortalized in a museum (of sorts). Here are 11 things you should know about the keychain toy that was once stashed in every kid’s backpack.

1. The idea for the Tamagotchi came from a female office worker at Bandai.

Aki Maita was a 30-year-old “office lady” at the Japanese toy company Bandai when inspiration struck. She wanted to create a pet for kids—one that wouldn't bark or meow, make a mess in the house, or lead to large vet bills, according to Culture Trip. Maita took her idea to Akihiro Yokoi, a toy designer at another company, and the duo came up with a name and backstory for their toy: Tamagotchis were aliens, and their egg served as protection from the Earth’s atmosphere. They gave prototype Tamagotchis to high school girls in Shibuya, and tweaked and honed the design of the toy based on their feedback.

2. The name Tamagotchi is a blend of two Japanese words.

The name Tamagotchi is a mashup between the Japanese words tamago and tomodachi, or egg and friend, according to Culture Trip. (Other sources have the name meaning "cute little egg" or "loveable egg.")

3. Tamagotchis were released in Japan in 1996.

A picture of a tamagotchi toy.
Tamagotchis came from a faraway planet called "Planet Tamagotchi."
Museum Rotterdam, Wikimedia Commons//CC BY-SA 3.0

Bandai released the Tamagotchi in Japan in November 1996. The tiny plastic keychain egg was equipped with a monochrome LCD screen that contained a “digital pet,” which hatched from an egg and grew quickly from there—one day for a Tamagotchi was equivalent to one year for a human. Their owners used three buttons to feed, discipline, play with, give medicine to, and clean up after their digital pet. It would make its demands known at all hours of the day through bloops and bleeps, and owners would have to feed it or bathe it or entertain it.

Owners that successfully raised their Tamagotchi to adulthood would get one of seven characters, depending on how they'd raised it; owners that were less attentive faced a sadder scenario. “Leave one unattended for a few hours and you'll return to find that it has pooped on the floor or, worse, died,” Wired wrote. The digital pets would eventually die of old age at around the 28-day mark, and owners could start fresh with a new Tamagotchi.

4. Tamagotchis were an immediate hit.

The toys were a huge success—4 million units were reportedly sold in Japan during their first four months on shelves. By 1997, Tamagotchis had made their way to the United States. They sold for $17.99, or around $29 in today's dollars. One (adult) reviewer noted that while he was "drawn in by [the Tamagotchi's] cleverness," after several days with the toy, "the thrill faded quickly. I'm betting the Tamagotchi will be the Pet Rock of the 1990s—overwhelmingly popular for a few months, and then abandoned in the fickle rush to some even cuter toy."

The toy was, in fact, overwhelmingly popular: By June 1997, 10 million of the toys had been shipped around the world. And according to a 2017 NME article, a whopping 82 million Tamagotchi had been sold since their release into the market in 1997.

5. Aki Maita and Akihiro Yokoi won an award for inventing the Tamagotchi.

In 1997, the duo won an Ig Nobel Prize in economics, a satiric prize that’s nonetheless presented by Nobel laureates at Harvard, for "diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets" by creating the Tamagotchi.

6. Tamagotchis weren't popular with teachers.

Some who grew up with Tamagotchi remember sneaking the toys into school in their book bags. The toys were eventually banned in some schools because they were too distracting and, in some cases, upsetting for students. In a 1997 Baltimore Sun article titled “The Tamagotchi Generation,” Andrew Ratner wrote that the principal at his son’s elementary school sent out a memo forbidding the toys “because some pupils got so despondent after their Tamagotchis died that they needed consoling, even care from the school nurse.”

7. One pet cemetery served as a burial ground for expired Tamagotchi.

Terry Squires set aside a small portion of his pet cemetery in southern England for dead Tamagotchi. He told CNN in 1998 that he had performed burials for Tamagotchi owners from Germany, Switzerland, France, the United States, and Canada, all of whom ostensibly shipped their dead by postal mail. CNN noted that "After the Tamagotchis are placed in their coffins, they are buried as mourners look on, their final resting places topped with flowers."

8. There were many copycat Tamagotchi.

The success of the Tamagotchi resulted in both spin-offs and copycat toys, leading PC Mag to dub the late ’90s “The Golden Age of Virtual Pets.” There was the Digimon, a Tamagotchi spin-off by Bandai that featured monsters and was marketed to boys. (There were also Tamagotchi video games.) And in 1997, Tiger Electronics launched Giga Pets, which featured real animals (and, later, dinosaurs and fictional pets from TV shows). According to PC Mag, Giga Pets were very popular in the United States but “never held the same mystique as the original Tamagotchi units.” Toymaker Playmates's Nano Pets were also a huge success, though PC Mag noted they were “some of the least satisfying to take care of."

9. Rare Tamagotchis can be worth a lot of money.

According to Business Insider, most vintage Tamagotchis won't fetch big bucks on the secondary market. (On eBay, most are priced at around $50.) The exception are rare editions like “Yasashii Blue” and “Tamagotchi Ocean,” which go for $300 to $450 on eBay. As Complex notes, "There were over 40 versions (lines) of Tamagotchi released, and each line featured a variety of colors and variations ... yours would have to be one of the rarest models to be worth the effort of resale."

10. A new generation of Tamagotchis were released in 2017 for the toy's 20th anniversary.

The 2017 re-release of the Tamagotchi in its packaging.
Bandai came to the aid of nostalgic '90s kids when it re-released a version of the original Tamagotchis for the toy's 20th anniversary.
Chesnot/Getty Images

In November 2017, Bandai released a 20th anniversary Tamagotchi that, according to a press release [PDF], was "a first-of-its-kind-anywhere exact replica of the original Tamagotchi handheld digital pet launched ... in 1996." However, as The Verge reported, the toys weren't an exact replica: "They're about half the size, the LCD display is square rather than rectangle, and those helpful icons on the top and bottom of the screen seem to be gone now." In 2019, new Tamagotchis were released; they were larger than the originals, featured full-color displays, and retailed for $60.

11. The original Tamagotchi’s sound has been immortalized in a virtual museum.

The Museum of Endangered Sounds is a website that seeks to immortalize the digital sounds that become extinct as we hurtle through the evolution of technology. “The crackle of a dial-up modem. The metallic clack of a 3.5-inch floppy slotting into a Macintosh disk drive. The squeal of the newborn Tamagotchi. They are vintage sounds that no oldies station is ever going to touch,” The Washington Post wrote in a 2012 profile of the museum. So, yes, the sound of that little Tamagotchi is forever preserved, should it someday, very sadly, cease to exist completely.