All Articles Tagged "networking"
Well it seems that if you are poor and black, your cousin CiCi and uncle Tookie might not be doing you any favors in helping you with your professional aspirations.
That’s according to Nancy Ditomaso, who writes for the New York Times that black unemployment, which is holding steady at over 13 percent, may have more to do with favoritism than actual racial discrimination. She writes:
“Favoritism is almost universal in today’s job market. In interviews with hundreds of people on this topic, I found that all but a handful used the help of family and friends to find 70 percent of the jobs they held over their lifetimes; they all used personal networks and insider information if it was available to them.
In this context of widespread networking, the idea that there is a job “market” based solely on skills, qualifications and merit is false. Whenever possible, Americans seeking jobs try to avoid market competition: they look for unequal rather than equal opportunity. In fact, the last thing job seekers want to face is equal opportunity; they want an advantage. They want to find ways to cut in line and get ahead.”
Ditomaso, then goes on to say that:
“The interviewees in my study who were most angry about affirmative action were those who had relatively fewer marketable skills — and were therefore most dependent on getting an inside edge for the best jobs. Whites who felt entitled to these positions believed that affirmative action was unfair because it blocked their own privileged access.”
And this is exactly why affirmative action is still necessary.
This is also the reason why networking is also important too. As Ditomaso points out in the piece when you are poor and black, you tend to only network with other poor and black folks, which means that the odds that your network would be able to connect you to the right opportunities, particularly ones that will enable you not to be poor anymore, are relatively slim. To Ditomaso’s point, connections are how most folks nowadays get jobs. That’s because the vast majority of job openings are not advertised – or at least not the good ones. And the only way to tap into the underground job market is if you, for the lack of a better term, have a hook-up.
For instance, the last job I held came about from responding to an advert for another position within the same company. When the interviewer called me, it was actually someone, who I had previously collaborated in a professional manner. Not only did she know me but was already familiar with my work and instead of the one position, which didn’t fit my qualifications exactly, she hipped me to another, more appropriate position, which hadn’t even been posted yet. Thinking back throughout my life, there are no shortage of opportunities, which I received from the assistance of my social network.
Even if you are not into those prefabricated and stuffy wine and cheese networking events, which I am certainly not into, folks should still be out there, meeting people. The last few opportunities I have received usually came by way of meeting people at events outside of the whole professional-building capacity. Like at art gallery exhibition openings; or book and panel discussions; or through volunteer opportunities. The point is that even if you were not born into more affluent social networks, you can obtain them by adopting a lifestyle in which you are open to new and diverse experiences. And I’m not talking interracial but also intra-racial as well.
I can say from personal experience that networking in circles outside of the ones in which I was raised has helped me tremendously when I was first started out in my professional career. It was my secondary network, which I begun to develop at Virginia Union University (an HBCU), which hipped me to the professional career fairs and opportunities. And it was the secondary network of black professionals, many alum and other VUU-connected folks, who just wanted to help me, which lead to my first official job interview post-graduation. Without the network outside of my family and friends, I doubt highly that those professional doors would have been open to me. Although I love my family to death, they just don’t have that sort of social capital.
With that said, it was my great-grandmother, who never finished high school, that gave me money towards outfits to wear for my job interviews. And it was my grandmother, a woman who worked in a candy factor for most of her career, that lent me her old beat-up Ford Focus to get myself around to these interviews. And it was my homie, a maintenance employee at one of the major hotel chains, who got me the friends and family “discount” on a room for those interviews that were far away from home. Even without having the appropriate connections to get me in the door, my network of family and friends were going to use whatever resources they had to ensure that I was well equipped when I walked through that door.
Small talk can become a very effective way of networking within the office environment, whether it’s connecting with your supervisor, another upper-level manager or the front desk associate. Small talk can also be just as intimidating as networking, reaching out and sparking conversation with those who might not have common interests.
You don’t have to be sports savvy, a Scandal super fan, or even an extrovert to begin some small talk around the office (even though it couldn’t hurt!). Here are a few tips and ideas to get your mouth going during those moments of small talk in the office.
Business is built on relationships. So any insight on how to create better relationships is a helpful refresher course for even a savvy businesswoman.
Inc. recently published four secrets from “master builder” Josh Hartwell, who started Mobile Deluxe in 2003 and developed it into a major player in the mobile gaming world. Its flagship game, Solitaire Deluxe, has been downloaded more than six million times. Of course, MadameNoire has added in a few relationship building secrets of our own.
Are you involved in a Meetup group? Do you even know what a Meetup is? If not, you better ask somebody — or keep on reading. Meetup.com is the largest network of local groups in the world. A top dog for gathering people from all walks of life with a shared interest, it’s a pretty amazing tool that is awesome for both business and pleasure. Joining is free and can open so many doors to new opportunities.
If you haven’t joined Meetup, you should. Here are ten ways it can work for you.
You may have heard of the phrase “the good ol’ boys club,” but it seems like that club has gotten bigger and it’s not just for the boys. In February, only 6.8 percent of white workers remained unemployed while 13.8 percent of black workers and 9.6 percent of Hispanics were unable to find jobs. The latest jobs numbers show the biggest increase in claims for unemployment benefits — 28,000 — for the week ending March 30.
We know there are a lot of explanations for these types of numbers, like the fact that fewer black college students graduate from college than whites, however beyond that, could white people just be helping other white people get jobs? This might seem like common sense to many, but I’m not referring to racial discrimination. Only the notion that whites help those in their network get jobs, which for most whites, tend to be other white people.
I recently wrote an article describing how minorities have very little representation at S & P 100 companies. If this reflects the overall management at large companies, many people in positions of power will not be looking to give black people a leg up when it comes to finding a job, but helping out those in their own white circle.
Nancy DiTomaso, a white woman and author of the book, The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism, conducted 246 interviews of working-class and middle-class whites over the course of a decade in Tennessee, Ohio, and New Jersey. She stated, ”Across all three states where I did my research, I heard over and over again [white] people admitting that they don’t interact very often with nonwhites, not at work, not at home or otherwise.”
Recently a coworker of mine wanted my opinion on where his daughter should go to school. For very different reasons, two of his top choices were Howard and Harvard. She had already been accepted into a few Ivy League schools and Howard; she was waiting on a response from Harvard. We discussed the pros and cons of both, but the biggest factor in his argument for why his daughter should go to Harvard was not the education, but the network she would build. I couldn’t disagree with him.
It’s not that “the good ol’ boys club” is impenetrable for black people; we just have to get out of our comfort zone to get access to it. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to Harvard, but we all do have an opportunity to build a network outside of those that look like us. Just like white people have a network of mostly whites; black people generally have a network of mostly blacks. White people may have less of a financial incentive to extend the olive branch to African Americans, but we as black people definitely have something to gain by having some white contacts in our Rolodex.
Now I’m not saying be some phony Uncle Tom, but if you are having trouble finding a job or looking to start a business, you have to expand your network. Unfortunately there are more white people of influence in the business world than minorities and sometimes to get ahead in the game you have to know the rules. It might be a hard pill to swallow, but the Black Tax may not just consist of working twice as hard as whites, but befriending them as a means to get ahead.
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Spring 2013 is finally here, and this season is all about new and fresh takes on your home, business, career, and lifestyle. If the New Year’s resolution you set for yourself professionally did not pan out yet, don’t fret. The Spring season is the perfect time to get your job search in order for that brand new career path!
Revamp your job search with these ten tips this Spring, and get ready to “spring forward” your professional life.
Sitting Around Waiting For The Man Of Your Dreams? Girl, There Are Tons Of Things To Do In The Meantime!
It always baffles me when beautiful women consume all of their energy worrying about a man. Why he hasn’t called me? Why doesn’t e like me? I wonder what he’s doing. As Tionna Tee Smalls says, “Girl, Get Your Mind Right!” There are other things you can work on other than being preocuppied with a man who may or may not even be thinking about you. Here’s a list of things you can do to keep busy
With New Year’s still fresh in our minds, self-improvement is important to everyone. But, it’s easy to be dedicated in January. The true test is honoring those resolutions for 365 days. That’s 52 weeks of discipline! Dropping the cash to lock yourself into a year-long commitment and making good habits a part of your daily routine are two easy ways to preserve that “new you” you told all of social media would debut in 2013. Here are nine ideas, some for free and others with a cost incentive, to keep you on track.
Do double duty this holiday season as you mingle at various holiday gatherings. Have fun, but take the opportunity to network.
At your company lunch or dinner, sit next to someone you will be working with on an upcoming project or someone you want to work with in the future. But don’t talk shop, advises Forbes. “[S]kip the work chat, and use this time to ask them where they’re spending the holidays or what their favorite dish is this time of year. Your goal is to build a connection with someone on a personal level that will motivate him or her to make more time to hear your work ideas later,” says the magazine.
If you’re at an industry function, connect with peers from other companies and potential clients. Go up and introduce yourself.
Even the family get-together a networking opportunity. “Why should you talk to your aunt (a first-grade teacher) or your cousin’s new boyfriend (who’s in finance) about your work optimizing websites? Because family counts as a part of your network,” Forbes points out. In the process of chatting or getting to know someone, you could be making a useful professional contact.
“And if you’re on the job hunt and just hoping to dodge questions about your employment status, think again,” the story continues. “Instead, choose to talk about your skills, and what you hope to be doing. Then follow up with a simple, ‘Know anyone?’”
We also recommend using the holiday season to reach out to former colleagues and clients. Give them a call or send an old-fashioned, handwritten Christmas card in the mail. Once you have reconnected this way, touch base after the new year. Get new job leads from former co-workers or see if an old client needs your services again. The holidays are the perfect reason to reconnect with people.
It’s also an opportune time to invite potential clients and or colleagues you want to get to know better out for lunch. These little friendly gestures could pay off big in 2013.
Most people say that networking across your industry is the way to go to promote your small business. But according to an article in Inc.com, you should actually be spending more time with your friends.
“As the company grows to 20, 30, or even hundreds of people, the CEO must become more discerning about which lunches to set up, which phone calls to take, and which emails to return. It’s no longer possible to talk to everyone, so the CEO must prioritize the best opportunities — the biggest customers, the most important partners, and others with the most potential to have an impact on business growth,” says the article.
CEOs should spend time with trusted advisors, a.k.a. their friends. If a friend refers someone to meet with you about your business, take this meeting, advises the article, before meeting with total strangers. Also, take time to meet with your friends about your business. “Educate them on the things you need to grow your business–customers, partners, quality recruits, etc. Then ask them to suggest meetings for you,” says Inc.com.
Besides making introductions, a friend can also be a wellspring of useful information in other areas. In addition to venting about workplace problems, bounce new ideas off of your savvier friends. They have a better insight to how you handle new situations and stress and can help you come up with solutions that best fit your style. You can even go so far as to set up brainstorming sessions with a group of friends. If you buy the drinks and nachos, you can probably get a good group to show up.
Friends can also be your best promotion via word of mouth. They can wear and use your products, and utilize their own social media networks to tell others about your goods and services.
But remember to reciprocate the favor. Pass on work and recommendations to your friends as well. You want to make sure you’re part of their trusted network of friends as well.