On the limitations of networking

Everyone knows that scoring sweet jobs is all about linking up with the right people at the right time, right? Well, let the sad story below be a lesson to us all–sometimes there are situations where even Facebook can’t help.


Hubert Gorbach was vice-chancellor and transportation minister until last fall’s elections ejected his party from office.

While still in office, Gorbach had loudly announced his move into the more lucrative private sector as a partner with one of his buddies.

It didn’t really work out.

Gorbach is back on the market, as the Austrian press revealed yesterday.

Enter Exhibit A:

Gorbach letter

Depsite Gorbach’s offer of friendly contacts in many regions, the chancellor of the exchequer passed on the offer, no doubt miffed that Gorbach’s Rolodex hasn’t been updated since the former’s parents named him Alistair. That’s gotta be tough–all those handshakes, ceremonies, conversations in a foreign language and travels while in office and once you’re out, all you hear are crickets in response to your probes.

And it turns out that using official letterhead, even if you do scribble “a.D” for “außer Dienst” or “retired” on top, is punishable by a fine of up to €3,600 if such use damages Austria’s reputation (some will no doubt argue that such antics are merely par for the course), to say nothing of the personal cost in humiliation for having your B game made public.

So, any recommendations for an ex-politician looking to get a fresh start? Or for those whose connections don’t even impress their mothers?



  1. The Kurier ran the story first, but I don’t know who leaked it. Maybe a Polish cleaning lady at the Austrian embassy in London?


Comments are closed.