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September 03, 2009

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The lists seems pretty good as far as networking lists go.

I do horrible on it. I am not a "networking kind of guy." It's not a task that I enjoy, that comes naturally to me, or that I feel I am very good at either.

As an engineer I have never had trouble finding work based on my skills, past experience, and references from my current colleagues.

I know networking can be helpful and I suspect in certain fields its more important than in others. I have decided that it's just not worth it to make myself LITERALLY miserable on a regular basis trying to go to networking events, force lunch meetings I don't want to attend, schmooze with "the right people" so that I can get on some kind of relationship that may work out for me later (I know its not all like that but some of it can be).

So far I have done just fine and I will never know if I could have done better if I had networked more.

I actually would be interested in people's opinions of the value of networking in general.

Namely, what importance do people generally put on networking and why? i.e. Do people feel it is (a) universally essential, (b) essential for some fields and not as much for others, (c) sort of helpful but not as critical as it is touted as being, (d) not really helpful at all.

I personally fall somewhere in between b & c, but that may be because of my field and my personality bias which makes networking uncomfortable.

Any other thoughts?

"5. Uh, no. I find that many of these are a waste of time (often they simply want to sell you something.)"

I think it depends on what type of industry you work in. For an electrical engineer like myself IEEE events are a must. I know of several people who got jobs by talking with someone at one of these events.
I think you're right though; I suspect engineering is more the exception than the rule. Which is ironic since engineers are the least social people on Earth.

I have a very small network that I seek to improve over the next year (my senior year of college). If you plan on posting more blogs about networking, I'll be sure to check up on your site often - Not gonna lie, I could use the help!

Also just an editing tip - When you post question/answers, you should put the question then the answer, question then the answer, not question question question answer answer answer. Should be easier to read.

thanks for the post!

-DC

I have got all my jobs in the last 10 years through my network. It proved specially useful when we hit a 50% unemployment rate back in 2002 and of course, I was unemployed (I'm in Argentina).

Sometimes you don't have the money to share lunch or coffee with someone but it does pay to keep in touch via phone so they still know you're looking for opportunities (don't contact people with a "have you heard of a job opening lately?", be genuine and get interested in THEM so in turn they can be interested in YOU).


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