Become a World-Class Networker (Like Mrs. Bennet)

Tip 3: Do Network

The hopelessly frivolous Mrs. Bennet may have been a constant source of chagrin to the sensible Jane and Elizabeth, but she was amazingly right on point when it came to the importance of networking. In last week’s post, I shared a “don’t” from George Wickham. Today, I’ll be sharing a “do” from Mrs. Bennet.

I was as surprised as you are to discover that Mrs. Bennet was actually a good example of anything. But note the approach she takes toward networking. Her thoughts on the matter are summed up below:

“It was, moreover, such a promising thing for her younger daughters, as Jane’s marrying so greatly must throw them in the way of other rich men…”

What She Got Right

There it is…the pearl of wisdom: make use of connections to achieve a goal.  Alas, this is pretty much where Mrs. Bennet’s common sense, foresight, and usefulness came skidding to a stop. On the one hand, she rightly realized that Jane’s marrying Mr. Bingley would provide opportunities for her remaining single daughters to interact with/get to know/fall in love with/and marry other single gentlemen of property. You can’t blame a woman for trying to give her girls a leg up in the world.

What She Got Oh So Wrong

On the other hand, however, you can blame her for imprudently expressing these sentiments in the earshot of the already paranoid/prejudiced Mr. Darcy. Let’s face it, that was a huge misstep that came back to bite both Jane and Elizabeth. So, while her intention may have been well-meaning, her implementation betrayed a serious lack of judgment.

Making Networking Work

In a similar vein, networking is essential to your job search. Ask everyone you know if they are aware of any job openings. Let them know you are looking for work. Often times, the people we are in contact with can alert us to opportunities, thus providing useful leads. We cannot afford to be too proud to ask for help. Remember, it’s not always what you know; sometimes it’s who you know. Just go about it in a slightly more judicious manner than Mrs. Bennet. Use tact and discernment, and no one will look askance at you for trying to make the most of every connection you have, and it very well may help you find that sought-after job.

Next time we’ll consider a tip from everyone’s favorite leading lady.

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