Networking is often touted as the number one way to land a job, gig or internship. But what happens when you’ve networked networked and networked to no avail?
Michelle Shapiro of Levo League writes “Conventional wisdom tells us applying to a job online without having a connection is equivalent to dropping your resume down a black hole”, and it’s true this is often implied to job seekers and workers alike: networking is the only way. But is this true? What if you’re an introvert who hates networking? What if you’re a charming social butterfly but your networks are coming out dry. Is networking the end all and be all?
Marty Nemko a weekly contributor to aoljobs debunks the # 1 myth of networking. He writes : It’s become a truism that you can’t find a job without face-to-face networking. I’ve become convinced that’s a myth — for a few reasons. The message: One size does not fit all. The mantra “Network, network, network” works only for some.
So how can you know if networking is for you? Marty Nemko has a great list of questions you should ask yourself before you devote your time to networking:
Does your career need networking, for example, if you’re unemployed or are looking to move up or to another employer?
To date, have you found that your networking has been worth the effort? The past is a reasonable predictor of the future.
Do you enjoy networking?
Even if you’re good at networking and enjoy it, is that the wisest use of that time — what otherwise could you be doing?
Is your existing networking liberally laced with people who can help you? Building a network usually takes a long time. By the time you build one that nets you a job, you could be homeless.
The takeaway from all this? If networking is for you, then it can be a great tool to utilize. However, if you find it emotionally draining and exhausting, don’t beat yourself up too hard. Some seekers might do better by devoting most of their job search time to applying to job ads, and uniquely tailoring and crafting their cover letters to reflect their skillset and why they would be great for the role.