How many of you like networking? Or even like the idea of networking? How many of you have tried it? How many of you put it off indefinitely, hoping for a call from one of those employers to which you blindly sent a cover letter and resume?

In job search workshops, when I pose these questions, attorneys often grimace, shake their heads, or demonstrate through other body language their distaste for networking. They also say that they have not had much luck and have given up after only one or two attempts. When I ask these attorneys to describe networking, they characterize it as a sneaky form of calling in a favor or begging for a job. Their responses indicate they do not understand that networking is a way to build relationships that can last throughout their career, and that it is essential in conducting an effective job search. In addition, they do not realize the reciprocal nature of networking: Individuals who are contacted for networking purposes benefit by meeting someone who will then become a part of their own network and will likely be able to help them in the future.

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