No matter what it’s called, networking is an essential piece of the job-search puzzle. But it’s more than just trying to balance a cup of coffee and a doughnut in one hand while shaking hands with the other at the local networking breakfast or fake-laughing at a potential boss’s lame jokes at a job fair.
“Networking is all about who likes you and who respects you,” says Claire Bloxom Armstrong, PR and social media manager at Concussion, an integrated marketing communications firm in Fort Worth, Texas. “There is a huge difference between knowing someone, or having someone know you, and having someone like you and respect you.”
Before working with you or referring you to someone else, a successful person is consciously or subconsciously asking himself, “Do I like and respect this person enough to put my reputation on the line by working with her or by introducing her to someone I trust? If the answer is ‘no,’ networking will get you nowhere.
“However, if the answer is ‘yes,’ a job-seeker can usually get almost anyone to open his or her Rolodex and/or recommend/refer you to people in his or her personal network.”
Is networking still working?
Networking, especially when we were looking for a job, used to be straightforward.