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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

What's the Big Deal About Networking?

Dear Sue: What is the big deal about networking? I’ve going to be looking for a job soon, and everyone tells me I need to network. I am not the type of person to go to big events, or call people and ask for help. What exactly do I need to do?

- Need to network

Sue says: Take the “work” out of network—it doesn’t have to be difficult or complex. Don’t worry going to events that make you feel uncomfortable; there are other, less stressful ways to network. In fact, I have a hunch you already are using your “network” of people. If “everyone” is suggesting you network, then whoever “everyone” is must be people in your own “network.” Whether you realize it of not, you have been networking by talking with the people you know.

Networking doesn’t have to difficult. Do you talk to, and keep in touch with, your family and friends? Do you talk to your neighbors, initiate conversations with people you meet, or belong to any clubs or organizations? Do you use the Internet—instant messaging or use message boards?
If you do any of the above, you may be networking and not even realize it!

It is estimated that as much as 70 percent of all positions will be found as a result of networking with others. When it comes to increasing your chances of finding a job, it is well worth it.

When you network, your “network” of people will help you and “work” for you. The more people who know what type of job you are looking for, the more likely someone will know someone else who knows someone else who knows someone hiring for that position.

There are more effective ways of networking than others. Just calling someone to tell them you are looking for work is fine to do with people you know, but if you limit yourself only to those people, you may be missing out on other opportunities.

You don’t have to go to a networking event to network. All you need to do is begin to expand the network you already have. Begin by working with and expanding the network you already have. If you’ve told people you are looking for work, have you told them what type of work you are looking for or asked if they know anyone who might be in a related field?

Most people are happy to connect people with other people. Don't limit yourself to your friends and family. Talk with the people you meet at your church or synagogue, athletic club, or any other type of organization you belong to. The more people who know you are looking for work, the better.

Although you don’t think networking events will interest you, you may want to consider giving them a try. It is much easier to network with people in an atmosphere designed to help you get exactly what you need.

“Everyone” can’t be wrong—listen to what they are saying, and start by asking "everyone" for someone else to network with. Good luck.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

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