Networking is just hanging out … most of the time

Networking is so easy in college.  In college, everyone seems constantly primed and ready to network.  Thirsty Thursday anyone?  Of course, nobody actually calls in networking on campus.  It’s only when you start to transition into the “job market” that this concept that is so very innate gets a new name, a new set of rules, and somehow becomes a mysterious process that is apparently absolutely necessary to landing a job.

Networking is nothing more than meeting people, creating real connections, finding common interests, and spending time together.  If you’re looking at networking as that necessary evil that stands between you and your dream job, then you’re thinking about it all wrong.  It’s not about getting to know someone to get something from them, it’s simply about actively participating in society, something we as humans are hardwired to do.  In college you presumably spent lots of time with friends, probably did some sort of volunteer work, and maybe were in a few clubs or sports.  That’s networking!  There’s really no mystery to it.

How do you apply this to your life now?  Well … spend time with friends, do some volunteer work, and join a club or sport.  Guess what?  You can still do all of those things with a job!  Even if you are networking with the sole purpose of finding a job, this tactic still works.  The people you meet in these low pressure situations are going to be the ones that know someone in the company that you’re trying to get into.

Life is complicated enough, don’t overthink this one.

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