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The Worst Networking Advice I Ever Received

July 12, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

I’ve reached a point of my unemployment where I feel like I am really pulling out all the stops.

Stop Sign

See? There’s one of my stops right there.

I am doing everything I can to find a secure, full time position for myself. And this includes networking. I have been actively using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, direct email contacts, etc. You name it. I have tried it.

Now, what I have learned about networking is this –

It is a total crap shoot. And I’m not even sure what that expression means. But it’s a crap shoot.

Let’s first categorize the types of responses I am getting. Oh and by the way, as a warning, this post will be much longer than usual.

No Response

i can't hear you!

This network person will pretend I haven’t written.

This is a semi-common response. I will just not hear from the person. Straight up, no explanation, not even a brush off. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Which is actually not the worst experience with networking I have had so far. I’ll get to that.

I’ll keep my eye out for you (or some variation of this).

 

My eye

This is someone keeping their eye out for me.

 

This is a one liner response where they tell me that they will keep their eye out for me. This usually means I will never hear from this person again.

Also, not the worst experience I’ve had so far.

No Duh Advice Givers

There ARE Dumb Statements

Need I say more?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do love advice. I love getting the input of other people’s experiences or outlook. I love hearing about what worked for someone else and what didn’t. Really! And I’m not being sarcastic about this – I do mean it. This is everything to a job seeker like me. And a lot of the advice I have received (such as many of you awesome advice givers that leave me comments) I have followed through with and appreciated.

But recently someone asked me, “Have you tried a placement agency?”

This is not earth shattering advice people.

I have tried placement agencies. I didn’t hear back from them. This isn’t to say I will never try again. But I hate advice like this. It isn’t giving me insight. It’s another brush off statement. It’s the same advice along the lines of, “Do you look for jobs on the Internet?”

Worst. Advice. Ever.

Today I received the worst advice on networking that I have heard in my entire life.

So, there was a company I want to work at. This company has a lot of people working there and a LOT of competition for the jobs. I scoured the Internet to find out who I knew that worked at this company or knew someone who did.

Lo and behold…

I found someone!  I found a guy that I went to high school with that knows people who work here.

I contacted him. I explained the situation and told him about the job I applied for. I asked if he could talk to one of the people he knew who worked there to put in a good word for me.

And here is what he said, “Umm…are you saying you know someone who works there and you want me to talk to them?

Oh, and we are on Facebook chat by the way. Another note, this is also a guy that I have kept in touch with since we graduated. So he isn’t a total stranger.

Me: “Oh I wish I knew someone at “that company.” I was hoping someone you knew could put in a good word for me to hr.” (I won’t reveal the company I applied to just to protect their identity.)

Him: “Then meet someone who works there!”

Are you kidding me? 

Me: “Wow. Thanks. I haven’t thought of that.” (Yes, I’m being a smart ass by this point. Obviously this won’t go anywhere.)

Him: “Really? You should do it! Your cute. Hang out in a bar in the area and be social about it. You’ll meet people!”

Him again: “Works for me and most of the people in tech industry are men!”

Wow.

Okay, so this ends the conversation.

Let me be clear. Yes, I am single. No, I’m not dating anyone right now. And really that isn’t priority number one right now. Priority is a job. And at any point in the conversation did I even mention dating? Nope. Not at all. And this is not the type of guy I talk about dating with. And aside from the occasional comments on Facebook about guys I think are cute or whatever, I don’t talk about dating on Facebook (I’m private like that).

And so his advice to me was basically this, “Your skills don’t matter. And since you’re a woman whom I have no respect for, I’m telling you to f*ck your way to the top.”

Sorry to be crude, but yes I heard it that way.

And maybe he didn’t mean it quite like that, but it was not good advice. The last thing on most men’s mind when they meet a woman at a bar is, “Oh! How can I help get this bright intelligent woman a job at my company?”

So, this is it for my friendship with this guy. On an entirely different note, I did have a couple of pretty cool network people come through for me on possible job leads, so I will see how all of that plays out.


11 Comments »

  1. Kristen says:

    It sounds crude, but I once heard someone say, “It’s not about what you know, it’s not even about who you know, it’s about who you do.” I had hoped they were just cynical, but it sounds like they were just realistic.

  2. Men are idiots. If all a woman had to do to get a job is flirt with a guy at a bar, then we’d be running every company and country in the entire world.

  3. Lady J says:

    Men always go to the sex. Even if he’s not trying to have sex with you, it unfortunately makes sense that was his answer. Blah.

    In a way I think he might be right, not that you need to sleep with people, but you need to meet someone to get an in. A few months ago I would have thought this thought process was bullshit and outdated, but after being in the same boat as you and watching people I know (read: stupid) move laterally in career positions, I have found people got them the job.

    The best piece of advice I ever got (not sure if it’s dumb, sorry): tell everyone you know what you do. Everyone, even if it feels awkward, even if it’s the girl who makes your coffee at Starbucks or the guy that strikes up a conversation with you at a bar. If you are a writer who wants a writing job, make it known. If you are an accountant, tell people you encounter. Play the numbers game, the more people who know your skills and know what you want the better your chances of getting a referral.

    This was hard for me to do in business because I thought I sounded needy and very forward, but I actually made a lot of sales and connections this way at my past job. Be a persistant self promoter of yourself, even if it feels uncomfortable. The worst case scenario is this person will not have a lead for you and then you don’t have to talk about it ever again, but you’re putting yourself out there.

    By the way… I love your images and captions. I am not laughing at your pain, merely sharing it as my own. Unemployment sucks, yo. 🙂

  4. George says:

    A job seeker is surrounded by advises from all corners. It can come from anywhere. During an Interview, from friends and relatives. The only option that’s left for a frustrated job seeker is to ignore all of them and listen to his or her inner mind and build up confidence that’ll help them to secure a job.

  5. […] Like I’ve said before, I’m single. And at the ripe age of 25, this means that I get to see a ton of Facebook status updates on marriages, engagements, weddings and new babies from the people I went to high school with. And lately, I find this slightly depressing. […]

  6. Jess says:

    you’re in the IT? What exactly do you do? In IT the way to get in to FT employment is to start as a consultant through a recruiting company. If you want to let me know what city you live in I can hook you up through the consulting firms that I work with in Charlotte. Most of them are nationwide and have offices in every major city and some not so major cities.

    If your good you’ll get hired FT anywhere from 12 – 18 months in. In the meantime you make more money as a consultant than as an employee and you get benefits to boot!

    • Oh I wish I was in IT. Really the most I have done is tech support. To be honest I’m not really sure why my friend thought IT would be a good lead for me, because it really isn’t!

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