Careers

Dread Networking? Cultivate Meaningful Relationships Instead

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Most people not only dread networking, but they also feel physically dirty after engaging in the activity, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. Despite evidence that networking is essential for career success and advancement, I have yet to meet a job seeker excited about it. Whether you are still exploring opportunities, looking to advance in your current field or curious about switching careers, networking can help. That said, many regard networking as disingenuous, as an unpleasant activity one must do to get a job. No wonder people feel dirty after attending networking events!

Job seekers believe that if they just go to events and conduct informational interviews, something magical will happen and they will leave with an offer. After only one interaction, students often complain that “nothing happened." Expecting that people you just met will gladly give you a job is unrealistic. Even if they offer to become a reference, the gesture won't have much weight because they don't know you yet and can't advocate for you. They may also not have the power to influence hiring decisions.

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