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What Did You Expect?

Networking is the #1 way to land a new job

➔ You’ve probably heard it before. You may even have read here, in this space. Networking is the best way land a new job. If you’re job seeking, networking is a must. Good advice. But there’s more to it than that.

It’s also true that, if you’re in touch with other job seekers, you’ve probably heard horror stories about going from one networking opportunity to another and many more in between and… nothing. The reasons for that kind of lack of success are most likely many and varied. But, for now, let’s look at one, but a very important one outcome of actively networking.

This networking thing can be complicated

There’s an old adage that says “you get out of it, what you put in to it.” That’s true in general and it’s true as it applies to job seeking. If you attend just one networking event and don’t come home with a job offer, you’re really not qualified to surmise that networking “doesn’t work.”

As with many things in life, your belief in networking as a job seeking tool ultimately comes down to expectations. You’re going to a networking event tonight. What do you think is going to happen? Do you really think that someone you meet will schedule an interview with you – much less offer you a job on the spot? The likelihood of that happening is so remote that’s it’s not worth considering.

But what may happen is that you might meet someone who knows of a job opening somewhere and who might have a contact at that organization who you could call to schedule an interview. OK. Let’s be real. That’s probably the best case scenario in terms of what you can expect to walk away from that event with.

In all probability, you might meet someone who knows someone, who knows someone, who might know of something. If that happens, good luck. It may take you at least a week or two (if not three) to track these individuals down. And then there’s no guarantee that there will be a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. Then again, if there is one weak link in that chain, the entire process falls apart and you’re back to square one.

Now that you’re depressed, here’s the good news. If you keep knocking on that door, eventually someone will answer. And you only need to find one.


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