Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with a couple who discussed the difference between forced networking and sincere networking.
For a recent grad, who has been told multiple times how vital it is to expand my professional network, coming to the realization that there is a difference between good and bad networking has changed my approach to the subject completely.
Recently a grad came to me and was all jazzed about getting into the job search game now that he was out of university. He was all over job boards, and sending out letters on a pretty random basis, and using one basic resume for all his job searches. There didn’t seem to be a lot of direction, focus or forethought to his process.
I thought, “wow, if all grads are doing it this way, small wonder there’s an unemployment problem!”
And, if you are working that way, it’s no wonder you might feel frustrated, hopeless and thinking about plan B.
As a student, recent grad, or newbie to the work force, you might be (and you SHOULD be) going out of your way to get to all kinds of events and meet people – happy hours, panels, workshops, conferences.
But once you’re there, they can be a little intimidating – everyone knows everyone else, there’s the “cool kids” table at the back, and suddenly you’re back in middle school, wondering if you’re going to have to eat your lunch in the bathroom stall again.