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Networking for Nerds: Find, Access and Land Hidden Game-Changing Career Opportunities Everywhere by Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt, Alaina G. Levine

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1 The Importance of Networking and the Hidden Platter of Opportunities™

Networking is a necessity, but what exactly is networking? In this chapter, we introduce the concept of networking and how you can apply it to gain access to hidden opportunities.

A few years ago, a freshly minted science doctorate asked me for some help finding a job. He had applied for hundreds of advertised openings, both postdoc and non-academic positions, but to no avail. So I asked him about his networking strategy. “What networking strategy?” he replied, clueless as to what I was referring. I spent the next hour emphasizing the importance of networking in finding hidden job opportunities and communicating your value to decision-makers. I outlined for him a customized networking plan which would enable him to meet and interact with professionals who have the power to hire him for the jobs he so desperately wanted. When our meeting concluded, I asked for feedback on the career consulting session – “Did you find our discussion helpful?” I inquired, thinking I was up for significant praise. “No,” he said instantly. “You didn't tell me where I can apply for a job or places where there are more advertisements for jobs.”i

Although he has a PhD in chemistry, this scientist did not understand a fundamental element associated with career planning and job seeking: Most jobs are NOT advertised, and neither are most opportunities that have the potential to be career game-changers, such as invitations to meet with ...

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