Out of all the social media outlets in the world, I’m pretty sure we can all agree LinkedIn is the worst. If you’re wondering why that is, it’s because it’s a “networking tool” and, for a fact, networking is the worst.
Recent college grads or soon-to-be grads may already know this, but don’t let the college counselors and/or your parents/professors/mentors fool you. Networking is dumb.
When you’re trying to fairy-godmother your PR degree into a career, you may consider networking as your best option to score an internship or a job. Do not be misled; too much faith in networking spoils useful habits.
Ok, I guess I should clarify a bit. All of the jobs I’ve ever had basically came about because I had a great connection at the company who vouch for me so I could get an interview and get hired. I guess some people consider that using my network to get a job. Sure. The garbage form of networking I’m disparaging today is the event networking, the LinkedIn networking, the pathetic pandering networking that may land you a job, but you’ll feel weird about it later.
I know a ton of people score great jobs by attending networking events or by shooting a stranger an email or a LinkedIn invitation. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m just saying it shouldn’t. Here’s my reasoning: If I was somewhat successful in an industry and had some pull with hiring, I wouldn’t recommend some spunky 22-year-old for a job based on one interaction at a meet-and-greet. She/he could compliment my on my shoes until kingdom come and I still wouldn’t put my head on the line for this very fashionable stranger.
On the flip side, as a job seeker, attending these events kind of feels like prostitution, or at the very least, episode 1 during any season of The Bachelor. You’re hoping to make a super great impression based on your clothes, or some sort of commonality you share with an HR manager, or the typeface on your resume. It’s all bullshit. If you wouldn’t date that way, don’t shop for a job that way.
So what should you do? Idk. My best suggestion is just be really dazzling in everyday life so your professors, employers and friends recommend you for jobs frequently and with fervor. Or just, like, work really hard and be good at what you do. Your choice.