Zilla raises an interesting point in the comments of my recent rant about interviews.

But, but, but … when and where does networking happen?

It seems to me that with networking, you have to be willing to do things (join clubs? join organizations? play golf?) and go places (work? cocktail parties? professional development seminars?) and speak to people (yikes!) — you have to go see and be seen, meet and greet, regularly, consistently, as a part of your daily/weekly/monthly routine, and not everyone feels free to do that, especially people who already have job responsiblities and family obligations.

You’ve got to be constantly “on,” instead of being “on” only during an interview. You’ve got to make meeting new people and growing the network a priority, and that might interfere with other obligations.

It’s not that I disagree that interviewing sucks, or that networking is the better route to career-building; I just wonder, with today’s busier than ever lifestyles, and with two-income households being the rule, and with soccer practices and parent-teacher conferences combined with the dissolving of tradational gender roles (which is good except that now Mommy and Daddy are both equally busy and stressed) who the heck has time to attend to networking?

Her point (both parts) is 100% dead spot on. Networking is vital. And, it probably does pay more dividends than mere interviewing. AND, in today’s world, no one has time for it.

I have never joined any of the Ad Clubs in any of the cities in which I have lived. I never attend the social events hosted by the media outlets. I never attend any professional development classes or conferences.

I have always had other things I was more interested in doing. And, while I was heavily involved in a the cycling club for several years in conjunction with my personal riding/racing, work was often the last thing I wanted to bring into the discussions with those folks. I was doing that for a release from the stress of work…along with the physical fitness motivation.

That’s not to say I didn’t network in the past. I did. But, it was never a priority or consistent effort.

And, for the last five years, the priorities have been primarily influenced by the needs of the offspring. Their activities come well before (in the order of importance) getting together with the group of contacts and friends for a drink. Is that hurting my career progression? Some would say yes. Others would say nothing is more important than time spent with the family. I have obviously chosen the latter attitude.

As a final bit of support to Zilla’s argument, a survey was recently released detailing how Alcohol Use Boosts Income. Specifically, the survey results stated:

“People who consume alcohol earn significantly more at their jobs than non-drinkers, according to a US study that highlighted “social capital” gained from drinking.”

So, there it is…definitive proof.

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