To some extent, we all kind of remember this right? But, in the midst of a pandemic, where entry-level jobs are lacking, and getting access to the right connections is even more important, the opportunities for networking and meeting those folks are limited.
“Unsurprisingly, networks of the young and unemployed are often filled with other people who are the same age, also looking for a job. As Zorilla put it, “When all your other connections are also unemployed 22- or 23-year-olds, it doesn’t really help that much.” Moreover, in a recent study, my colleagues Balazs Kovacs, Nicholas Caplan, Samuel Grob and I found that networks have shrunk by more than 17% during COVID—shrinking just when young workers need them most.”
So, if you are one of those recent college grads looking for work, I’m going to suggest you work every angle you can find, whether it be with virtual alumni groups or other connections through your educational institution, getting involved in LinkedIn groups or other professional online meeting places, or even, gasp, your parents and their friends. You’re going to need connections to people outside of your peer group to get where you want to go.
And, for the rest of us, when was the last time you had a conversation with someone who fits the description above? Don’t you think it’s time to start leading and raising up the next generation of contributors to your field? What can you do to assist with these shrinking networks for the people who need them the most?