Networking Should Not Be a Chore

Since when did networking become a chore?

The more time I spend in the Business School here at Rutgers, the more I realize how unbelievably fake everyone is. The more I think about it, the angrier I become! Just a heads up, this rant might be a bit long but I promise I will try to keep it as close to the point as possible.

OK SO:

You should not have to go out of your way to “build” a network. Building a network is something that should happen NATURALLY through one of two ways.

1) By being FRIENDLY OR

2) By getting INVOLVED

*BUT* You should NEVER be FAKE and pretend to like people and you should NOT join clubs and organizations just so that you can add them to your resume or something.

TO ALL OF YOU PEOPLE WHO DO THESE THINGS, I am sorry but I do NOT approve. I’m actually really bothered by it and find it borderline disgusting.

You should be YOU. I know you are great. The person you’re trying to be, yeah, not so great. BUT THE REAL YOU – THAT PERSON’S GREAT.

If you have to go out of your way to do things so you can build your resume and create a bigger network, I’m sorry but you’re not cut out to be successful. DOES IT REALLY TAKE THE IDEA OF “BUILDING A RESUME” TO FINALLY MOTIVATE YOU TO GET OFF YOUR BUTT & DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE?

People seem so oblivious to this. No matter how hard you try, the truth is you will never be able to be number 1 because truthfully, you aren’t being sincere and true to yourself.

Do you want to know who CAN be successful? The people who are motivated to do things on their own because they WANT to. I joined every single club my high school offered and I can PROMISE you it was not for my resume. Heck, some clubs aren’t even listed! I was in my high school’s Gay Straight Alliance and while I choose not to list it for personal reasons, that is beside the point. I was VERY active in the club and because of my decision to not list it, there’s absolutely no record of it. But that’s ok because I didn’t do it for my resume anyway.

Many people say, “It’s not what you know, but whom you know.” This is true. Having connections can help. In fact, having connections DOES help. But what makes you think that person is going to remember YOU from your brief insincere little chat? Ok you exchanged business cards and connected on LinkedIn? Big deal! It’s so fake. I bet I have a better relationship with the woman from Microsoft whose stand I offered to help her set up when she came to Rutgers to run a kiosk promoting their new tablet. I saw she had a lot of things to carry and so I wanted to help!

This whole idea of encouraging students to network honestly MAKES ME SICK. NETWORKING SHOULD NOT BE A CHORE. NETWORKING SHOULD NOT BE FORCED. NETWORKING SHOULD JUST HAPPEN.

Some of my friends try to be really involved here at Rutgers. I know guys and girls joining PBL, Student Government Associations, Business Fraternities and more. Unless you honestly find those things FUN, you shouldn’t be joining. One guy told me he wants to rush for this one business frat because he heard the President is graduating which means his position will be opening up… so that is why he wants to join- so he can maybe become President. Is that something to be proud of?

I find the Business Frat outrageous. Like honestly. I asked a few reps why I should join and their first answer was, “Oh it’s a great way to form connections and network within the community!” UM HOW ABOUT NO!?

So let me get this straight: You want ME to join your FRAT so that I can SELFISHLY BENEFIT FROM THE SUPPOSED NETWORK and surround myself with COMPETITIVE STUDENTS WHO WILL PROBABLY PRETEND TO BE MY FRIEND WHILE IN ALL REALITY, THEY ONLY WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY DO BETTER THAN ME IN THE END?

No way! I’m so bothered by this.

Do you want to know how you network? I will tell you my opinion of how I think networking should work.

You network by being real. Be a good person because you want to be a good person. Start each day with the intention of meeting someone new JUST so you can make a new FRIENDnot a potential business partner.

JOIN CLUBS BECAUSE YOU ENJOY THEM. NOT BECAUSE THEY MAKE YOUR RESUME LOOK LONGER. Follow your passion. If you get involved and make friends who share genuine interests with you, those connections will be so much more meaningful.

Meet people who you (REALLY) care about and believe it or not, they just might care about you back. Meaningful connections and relationships are the secret to success.

STOP MAKING AN EFFORT TO BE SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT.