10 Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking


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Go Viral
Social Media (like Facebook and Twitter) can aid in your job search or business growth by letting you message people you don’t talk with every day. Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

If you've lost your job, don't keep that to yourself. Think about all of those Facebook friends you've accumulated over the years. Sure, you might be annoyed by their occasional political rants or inane kitten videos, but one of these people might be the critical connection between you and your next job. Think about it: The people you are closest to will automatically help you if they can. It's the folks you may not ordinarily talk to in person that need a broadcast message.

Before you send out a mass Facebook or e-mail message saying, "I'll do anything!" consider a more strategic approach. People are more likely to take action if they have parameters. Be as specific as possible about the fields and job titles you want to pursue. Saying that you want to work in "organic agriculture" or "vegetarian catering" is much more effective than saying, "I want to work with food." By giving your contacts specific keywords, they can refer you to friends or companies who match those searches. The worst someone can do is ignore you (or defriend you), but you never know who holds the magic ticket to a great job opportunity.

This strategy can also work if you are starting a business – of course in that situation you should already have a clearly defined message (and hopefully a Facebook page for the business that you will invite friends to follow).

For lots more information about job searches and networking, check out the related HowStuffWorks articles below.

Author's Note: 10 Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking

The year was 1998 and I was fresh out of college. My dream was to break into the TV comedy writing business, but I was a kid from Pittsburgh whose closest connection to Hollywood was my Blockbuster Video card. With nothing to lose, I moved out to Los Angeles and took a day job as a receptionist at a law firm. In the evenings, I would look up the mailing addresses for every writer and producer at every sitcom on TV. I sent each of them a desperate letter — that was the actual name of the Word file, "desperate letter" — acknowledging my utter lack of industry contacts, but emphasizing my willingness to work any job, no matter how menial, for a foot in the door. I mailed out upward of 400 of these things and got exactly one response. She was a producer for a popular network TV show. I have no idea why she called me in for a conversation — there were no open positions — but we had a great meeting. A few months later, she recommended me for a production assistant spot on a new show, and I got it. The kid from Pittsburgh was on his way. The experience taught me the importance of putting yourself out there, even if it is awkward and potentially fruitless. You never know who you will meet that will change everything.

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Sources

  • Clark, Dorie. "Networking Advice for People Who Hate Networking." CBS MoneyWatch. May 26, 2011. (July 12, 2013) http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-40341781/networking-advice-for-people-who-hate-networking/
  • Johnson, Tori. "Job-Hunting? Get Good Experience as an Adult Intern." ABC News. March 10, 2010. (July 12, 2013) http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/JobClub/job-hunting-good-experience-adult-intern/story?id=10056926#.UeA73T78k0N
  • Tahmincioglu, Eve. "Working for Free: The Boom in Adult Interns." April 12, 2010. (July 12, 2013) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1977130,00.html
  • Zack, Devora; quoted in Bowers, Toni. "Hate networking? Here are some tips." Tech Republic. Oct. 13, 2010. (July 12, 2013) http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career/hate-networking-here-are-some-tips/2442

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