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Thread: Is networking against merit?

  1. #1
    International 12th Man Kirkut's Avatar
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    Is networking against merit?

    They say to get a job it's who you know matters most. It's a present day fact, but is it ethical?

    To me networking is a product of present day competitive environment. Introverts and people with asperger's syndrome have it hard.

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    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Obviously ‘who you know’ can help but networking doesn’t have to work that way. It can as much be about building up contacts to learn more about different skills, part of an organisation etc.

    Ultimately there are always going to be a multitude of factors that mean you do or don’t get a job. You just have to do all you can to put yourself in the strongest position.

    Things have gone well for me over quite a chunk of time now work wise and I often put it down to being in the right place at the right time. But I guess I should give myself a bit of credit in that there’s always a reason I was in said place. That’s the key for me - be where you need to be to enable the things you want to happen, to happen.
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    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    I have my current job because of 'networking', I guess you could say. A position became available and a HoD asked another HoD for recommendations, and they put me forward because of my skills and work ethic (they could've put forward any number of other graduates too). The position was also publicly advertised, so really was it merit, or networking?
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    There's no such thing as a meritocracy.
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    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossTaylorsBox View Post
    There's no such thing as a meritocracy.
    Yes there is. Just talk to any white conservative about affirmative action. Or minimum wage (and raising it).

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    You can be the best person available for a job, but you won't get it if the people hiring aren't aware of that.

    Working in a team isn't always about what you're capable of either. It's really important how you fit in and get along with everyone.

    Sometimes being good at networking is part of what makes your good for the job
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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorax View Post
    You can be the best person available for a job, but you won't get it if the people hiring aren't aware of that.

    Working in a team isn't always about what you're capable of either. It's really important how you fit in and get along with everyone.

    Sometimes being good at networking is part of what makes your good for the job
    Yeah this.

    It's horrid though, so I generally don't do it if it can be avoided

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    International 12th Man Kirkut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorax View Post
    You can be the best person available for a job, but you won't get it if the people hiring aren't aware of that.

    Working in a team isn't always about what you're capable of either. It's really important how you fit in and get along with everyone.

    Sometimes being good at networking is part of what makes your good for the job
    That's actually impossible, how could you prove that you will get along well with colleagues even before you start working? You may have very good relations with a top employee from XYZ company but it does not necessarily mean you will fit in the culture.

    Networking can also be a polite term for nepotism, I personally know students with okay resumes getting interviews at Google and Facebook through industrial contacts of their supervising professors and I also know some amazing resumes not having such novelty.

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    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    Does merit exist?
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    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    People who put up with the demands of networking at least slightly deserve the perks that come along with it.
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  11. #11
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkut View Post
    That's actually impossible, how could you prove that you will get along well with colleagues even before you start working? You may have very good relations with a top employee from XYZ company but it does not necessarily mean you will fit in the culture.

    Networking can also be a polite term for nepotism, I personally know students with okay resumes getting interviews at Google and Facebook through industrial contacts of their supervising professors and I also know some amazing resumes not having such novelty.
    If the person/people that you know have a good understanding of the culture in the organisation, and have the best interests of that organisation at heart, then they probably are in a good position to judge whether or not you will fit in. But of course this isn't perfect. It can be subject to flawed judgement, lack of information, personal biases, etc. But then again, so is the whole hiring process. No one is actually going to know for sure whether or not you're a good fit for a job or team culture just by looking at your CV either. In bigger organisations, the HR department can be equally clueless to the requirements various teams and departments.

    That's why most organisations prefer a combination of the above. Do you have the prerequisite skills and experience on paper, do you perform well in the interview, and are there people within the organisation (preferably those that you will be working with directly) who can vouch for you. If you tick all the boxes, you usually get the job.

    Nepotism is a very real thing, and can go both ways. Sometimes it's wise to hire people who are recommended by individuals with a strong track record of identifying and training talented individuals. It's almost like trusting a certain's scout or coach's report when recruiting players for a cricket team. But sometimes it's open to abuse. Again, it all depends on the individuals involved, and can be subject to human flaws. It's no different to any other hiring process IMO.

    At the end of the day, it never harms you to get your name out there, meet people and build relationships.
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  12. #12
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    Yeah this.

    It's horrid though, so I generally don't do it if it can be avoided
    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.ag View Post
    People who put up with the demands of networking at least slightly deserve the perks that come along with it.
    I used to think networking was garbage in my old job, because I really did not give a **** about the industry. I felt like I was spending my own personal free time to do more work. Attending conferences and seminars and talks felt so boring, and I'd never want to stick around for the awkward meet and greets later, because I really didn't have anything to say. Sometime's it would be required to spend money too. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

    In my current job networking just comes so much more naturally, because I genuinely love it. I go to these things out of interest, I have reasons to speak to various people, I'm constantly reading industry related news and chatting to co-workers and making time in my week to go do more work-related stuff. It all doesn't actually feel like a job to me. I enjoy it. I think that's how it is supposed to be really. And in that sense, if you have someone applying for a job who is well connected in the industry, that could be a sign that they genuinely love what they do, and that's always a plus point for an employee.
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  13. #13
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    Resumes can't tell you how good you are for a job either.
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  14. #14
    International 12th Man Kirkut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossTaylorsBox View Post
    Resumes can't tell you how good you are for a job either.
    Agreed, but not all jobs require sophisticated social skills. Some are natural at networking and their enthusiasm is visible clearly without them trying too hard. Others force themselves into networking because they're desperate for a job.

  15. #15
    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkut View Post
    Agreed, but not all jobs require sophisticated social skills.
    While this is not wrong, when filling many of these jobs they try to hire people who would have the social skills required for the job which comes with promotion.

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