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This past weekend my wife and I attended a seminar on transitioning within the workforce in today’s economic climate.  Overall, the seminar was not nearly as helpful as we had hoped, but the one thing that was continually pounded was the importance of networking as part of job searching.

Frankly, this terrified the hell out of me.

I am a man of few words.  I know that can be hard to believe given the way I spout off here at the Jungle Gym, but it’s true.  I speak little when among friends, and I speak even less in the company of strangers.  The reasons for this could be studies psychologically from a hundred different angles, but the upshot of it in the context of this discussion is that I do not network well.

And, my question is this.  In a time when outsourcing, job elimination, and corporate mergers are the norm, how can networking skills pay off as they once did?  It seems to me that if you’re network of people are hanging on by their fingernails, waiting for the next round of layoffs, and praying to be spared not only can they do little to help you but it seems the height of audacity to ask.

My “network” is my friends.  These are the people I kick back with on weekends and do geeky things like play D&D while drinking a few beers and enjoying each other’s company.  Who wants to intrude on that with “networking.”

I guess I’m doomed in any job search I continue to pursue.  I don’t have the right “network.”


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