I recently caught up with Jessica, a graduate of Temple University and PRowl Public Relations. After graduating last May, Jessica started a job with Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I am so excited to see her achieving the success she deserves!
I asked Jessica if she had any advice for me as I begin my job search. “I found my job on indeed.com which is basically just a listing website for job descriptions,” she said in an e-mail. “I applied and got it. I knew no one there. It’s not ALWAYS about networking, so don’t discount jobs you think you might not get because you don’t know anyone!”
I found this advice to be very interesting and insightful. While there is no doubt that networking is very important, particularly in the field of PR, I think it is important that we don’t get too caught up on networking and overlook other opportunities for which we may be great candidates.
Coincidentally, a similar point was made in “Delivering Happiness,” a book by Tony Hsieh that I am currently reading for work. “My advice is to stop trying to ‘network’ in the traditional business sense, and instead just try to build up the number and depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is its own reward,” Hsieh, founder of Zappos.com, says. “The more diverse your set of friendships are, the more likely you’ll derive both personal and business benefits from your friendships later down the road. You won’t know exactly what those benefits will be, but if your friendships are genuine, those benefits will magically appear 2-3 years later down the road,” he said.
How big of a role did networking play in your job search? Do you agree that people sometimes over-emphasize networking, or do you feel that networking should be a focus during the job search?