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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can you network yourself out of a job?

Last week I encouraged you to think about the value of networking. Today, I am wondering if it is possible to network yourself out of a job?

I believe it is...in fact I believe I have witnessed it on several different occasions. To begine with we need to understand what networking is. According to Dictionary.com networking is defined as a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest: Working mothers in the community use networking to help themselves manage successfully.

Note in bold above is supportive system of sharing. This is important because where networking usually breaks-down is when networking becomes one dimensional. In this economy it is critical to understand this principle because desperate people, that want a job, do desperate things. If you are networking to land a job, ask yourself what you are giving back to your network? If you can't list at least one thing more than just your lovely personality, then you may be over-networking.


What is wrong with being aggressive and selling yourself? Well, to be frank, it is annoying and disrespectful. In writing this I am sure that a bunch of people are going to feel like I am annoyed with them. The truth is I love networking and I don't get annoyed, but I have heard comments recently about people that are annoyed. Here is the problem...today's students coming out of college are use to social networking and reaching out to a hundred people at a time, but today's executive likes to be treated as if they were special.


If you are mass networking you run the risk of offending the person that was thinking about hiring you! Don't believe me? Okay, but it is true. I actually received comments on my last post telling me that this is happening more and more. Get out and network, but be strategic and be sensitive to those you are targeting.