Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Not Only About Luck

An article in yesterday's New York Times got me thinking.  This part specifically jumped out at me:

“I have friends with the same degree as me, from a worse school, but because of who they knew or when they happened to graduate, they’re in much better jobs,” said Kyle Bishop, 23, a 2009 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh who has spent the last two years waiting tables, delivering beer, working at a bookstore and entering data. “It’s more about luck than anything else.”

While my response to Kyle would be, yes, your friend who graduated with connections was to some extent lucky to have had that network, but what have you done to grow your own?  Have you reached out to alumni, joined social networking groups on LinkedIn, and attended professional meetings where you might build some of your own professional connections.  The excuse that you were too busy working your various day jobs is no excuse.  The job search process is truly all about networking, perhaps even more so then when you graduated or where you went to college.  And to current students I say: do not wait until you've graduated to start reaching out to alums and conducting informational interviews in your field.  Build those relationships now so that you won't have to spend the next two years underpaid and under-employed, trying to retroactively make those connections that you really should should have worked to make earlier.

Read the rest of the article here.

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