Monday, February 23, 2015

"Networking" is a dirty word.

Today I met with a career adviser who informed me of the 30-70 rule. According this rule, when searching for job opportunities one should spend 30% of their time on job boards and 70% of their time connecting with people. Why? According to her, the listings you see online comprise only 1/3 of all that's out there. The other 2/3 is part of a sort of "hidden job market" where jobs are filled through either in-house referrals or people who have connections to current employees.

She put it plainly, "That's just the way things are now. That's how it works."

Geez. You can imagine my disappoint and stroke of panic upon hearing this horrible news, seeing as how my job search so far has consisted solely of looking at postings on job boards and organization/company websites. (I've been applying to numerous jobs since the beginning of January and haven't been receiving responses; thus the advising appointment.) Now, of course I've been drilled on the so-called importance of networking since freshman year, but I didn't think it was that deep. Like "networking" is the trend right now, but I was sure that that couldn't be the only way to get in the door. People still get by on their own  merit and effort, right? Wrong.

Obviously, this doesn't bode well for someone like me who is shy, who isn't already acquainted with a ton of people, who is a good communicator but doesn't like talking just for the sake of talking, and who's encumbered by her own conscience to side-eye "networking" as a practice in schmoozing and cunning disingenuousness rather than a valuable career/people skill.

Lawd, do I have my work cut out for me...

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