Career networking… puh… do I have to be nice to everyone?

Career networking is one of the hardest things we all have to do. When we are looking for a new job it seems as if there were no boundaries. People on LinkedIn, Xing, etc. contact me all the time asking me for a job – I don’t even know them… so what do to? Do I have to be nice, ignore them, go above and beyond to make sure that I treated everyone right, even though I feel that they haven’t even taken the minimum courtesy to get acquainted with me?

I came across a really good list of things to do on Yahoo! Hotjobs today: it’s a great resource to check out before approaching random people in your network. I especially like the article by Caroline Levchuk on how to take networking online.

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

4 thoughts on “Career networking… puh… do I have to be nice to everyone?

  1. Ines,

    I have just discovered your blog and really enjoyed this post. I don’t really agree that career networking is the hardest thing to do. I have been in career transition now for several months and I have enjoyed the networking immensly. I have reached out to many people that I have known over the years, they have introduced me to new people and along the way I have enriched my old friendships and make new ones. These new contacts will be contacts for life, because they are great people with whom I have some common interests.

    You have hit the nail squarely on the head regarding the improper application of career networking “to get a job” in your comments about folks who contact you on LinkedIn to ask for a job. Just exactly why would you provide your valuable reference to a stranger about whom all you know is that they can find you on LinkedIn. I have to quote Ron Bates here, who calls this “needworking” rather than networking.

    Thanks for spending the time to point out to others that the rules your mother taught you about meeting people hold true, even online. I admire your manners, I am not sure I could be as gracious when faced with blatant rudeness.

    Jim Rowland

  2. Ines,
    I think it is worth to try to be nice to most people and help them out. You never know if you might not be happy to use their help some day.
    Obviously this is only doable to a certain extend i guess in the end it depends on how much one can handle.

    Thank you

  3. Indiana University School of Informatics (HCI/D) Students research the integration of public transit options into facebook to create sustainable impact on congestion and the environment. Ride Connect integrated into facebook takes social networking to shift perception of public transit into a social activity.

    This was presented during the student design competition at CHI 2007 Conference. Read more about this on http://www.booherdesign.com
    .

  4. I was just writing a post on my blog and then I read your blog. I am glad to see there are people out there that are looking for the right Career Networking solution that is not so invasive. I am a Co-Founder at Cachinko and we are a Career Networking site. We are not a professional networking, friend networking, or dating site. We just focus on helping people network to manage their careers.

    On Cachinko, you can setup Personal Networks (Talent Networks, like cliques) and keep each clique separate (like the high school lunch circles). The point is that the only people you are connected to, are the people you trust and the people your friends trust. Your Cachinko Career Network is very different, because you don’t have people contacting you about strange business opportunities, Cachinko is all CAREER oriented. You can share jobs with your friends. Remember, only the people in each of your Talent Networks can see each other – this means you can manage your contacts and keep them separated (or ogranized) however YOU think is best. Anyway, check it out sometime and let me know what you think 🙂

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