|Mr Khan said:
More or less self-explanatory thread (or, Mr Khan's job-searching rant thread number three).
Networking is cheating. It's modern-day croneyism built into a system that favors insiders and people who know people, heavily favoring so-called "type A" personalities and more extroverted individuals, and overlooking any individuals who worked hard to get where they were but weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths or didn't room with the right guy in college.
When someone gets a job by networking, a more deserving person loses out. Therefore, networking to get a job is cheating, and sites like LinkedIn should be outlawed.
Actually, what you see going on today is that companies have systems out there that look to completely eliminate the human element from the hiring process, and with that, a degree of comfort level people have in who they know. About the only way one can genuinely see someone and properly evaluate who they are is by knowing who they are. Anything else ends up with people gaming the system by meeting certain benchmarks that are called upon, even if they don't have substance. A human network is meant to screen and qualify people, and who you know organically is how things work.
This being said, what is said as "networking" today doesn't even involve who you know personally. What it involves is people who can get themselves in social networks and plugged in anywhere, who happens to get known. And they position themself so their work is seen. It involves using COMPUTER networks, and odds are you don't even really see anyone at all.
Ok, let me tell you my story on how I found work, and went about things.
I happen to end up applying everywhere, getting into systems everywhere including Kelly. I got background check cleared and end up missing a wave of hiring. Well, add this to a hell of a story and I ended up contacting a local reported who does local economic news about my situation, and it was an interesting enough story, he felt I had a story, so I was to meet him at a job fair. Well, between that time, and when I met him, I found out I was approved for hiring by Kelly and a new wave of hiring. Then the story because how I got a job, and I made the front page of the local paper. My making the local paper had NOTHING to do with me getting hired actually.
What is the case here is, yes people who are shy will have issues. If you can't stand making contact with new people, you aren't going to be seen. BUT, being able to have people work with you, and being known for things, positions yourself as a solution people will think of when the need to hire. You need to deliver in these cases, so how people think of you matters. And you have to apply or be known about something. You do have to get out there and connect with people and do things they can see you as an answer and recommend. You do have to meet the minimum standards they need at least, and then be the best among the people they know.
In my case, on the boardgame side, it wasn't an A-type personality that got me to the top of the Hotness list on Boardgame Geek in September 2012. What it was is having a really, really bad boardgame and asking about what was worse, and blogging some about what I do. I make myself known for anyone who cares. The game rose to #4 on the Hotness list (list of website activity). I also got several games published in a magazine by reaching out a publisher to consider what I did, sending a list of my games also, and then getting two games in there. I make a point to reach out to people and make myself known before there is any need. And that is what is meant by networking. It means being a competent person who can get along with others. You want it to be when people see you, they genuinely remember who you are and find you. They know of you before they need you. That is real networking. In my case, I am a competent enough designer apparently, that stuff I have done ended up in a book, and several of my games were referenced by others in designs thy did. I do work in an obscure area though, but my goals is to do things bigger, not just make me, and get a job.
The best person on the planet at something who is not known, might as well be dead, because it is like they aren't available.
So, what I can say is this, for networking: Get known, by being competent and interesting and reaching out.