THE BLOG

It's Okay Not to Enjoy Networking

10/04/2013 14:13 BST | Updated 10/06/2013 10:12 BST

If you're looking for a job you really shouldn't be reading this! Nor should you be spending more than a few minutes a day browsing job boards or looking for job opportunities on Linked In, Facebook, or anywhere else online.

The reason is simple. It's where everyone else is looking. And it's so easy to spend all day on line, believing that you are actively looking for a job, and having little or nothing to show for it at the end.

Today's job market is tough. And there's no reason to imagine that it's going to get any easier any time soon. There's only one reliable way to get a job. We all know what it is, and mainly we try to ignore it, because it feels uncomfortable. It's about going out there, talking to people and making new contacts.

There's a lot been written about networking. Most of it is not very helpful because it doesn't deal with the question of how to network if you don't enjoy it. Because there is little point in trying to make new contacts if you don't feel good about it, you just won't do it very well.

So the question is, how do you do it, in such a way that you don't feel uncomfortable? We are all different and sadly there is no one-size fits all solution that works for everyone. But basically you can either try the conventional route of starting with your friends and asking them who they can suggest for you to talk to- and can they please give you an introduction. Or you can go to events and networking groups in your local area, where everyone is in the same boat and where, if they are facilitated properly, people do start talking, and manage to overcome their inhibitions.

If neither of those feel right for you, then its probably time to talk to a good career professional, who should be able to help you create a successful networking strategy.

Whatever you do though, there are two things to remember. One is, that its OK to feel uncomfortable about networking, whatever other people tell you. And the other is to get out from behind your computer and into the real world. Your computer is your comfort zone. It's not where the jobs are.