Networking Made Easy

Now that I’m a junior, I am starting to think about life post-graduation and more specifically about what type of job I want to be doing next summer. Any career center or job blog will tell you that one of the best ways to get a job is to network. Networking has always felt to me like an amorphous set of guidelines. Talk to former bosses 4 times per year. Get to know 3 different professors well enough so they can write you a recommendation. When have these types of guidelines ever been helpful? All they lead to is a formulaic execution of steps because it’s ‘what you’re supposed to do’ in order to stay in touch.

My theory of good networking is different:

Have a genuine interest in other people.

It’s not about the number of times you’re reaching out or the specific nature of those connections. Instead, it involves a focus on people as people rather than people for their connections and what they can do for you in the future. We naturally want to help each other out, so showing a genuine interest in other people will build your relationships with them and your social capital. Then, when you’re looking for that job, they’ll think of you.

Remember: people want to network with people not networking automatons.

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