Use career-minded networking to become an insider.

Networking For The Career-Minded Student

Content Summary

The aim of author Linda Hewitt in Networking For The Career-Minded Student is twofold: to encourage students already thinking about the job market and their future careers to consider the unique advantages they enjoy due to their age and school status; and to give them tips on how to maximize those advantages to network toward a more-satisfying future. The primary audience for the book is the student population aged 17 to 24, but the subject matter covered can be useful for younger students and their parents, as well as the school counselors who advise them.

Networking For The Career-Minded Student is divided into two parts. The first deals with networking in relation to career preparation, the second with the details of networking.

Part One. Networking and Career Preparation, divided into seven chapters, considers several topics related to attitudes toward networking and career preparation in the United States. Hewitt defines networking and considers it as both cliché and reality. She demonstrates how networking fits into career preparation for students. She examines why students don't take advantage of their unique opportunities to network for purposes of career preparation, as well as why educators and parents are sometimes conflicted about career preparation for young people. She describes how the American work ethic has changed over time and the critical role played by parents in passing it along to their children. Finally, she asks (and answers) the key question: why prepare for work at all in a time when the nature of work seems increasingly difficult to understand?

Part Two. A Closer Look at Networking, divided into fifteen chapters, gets down to the nitty gritty. Hewitt describes the uses of networking for career preparation. In what may be the most thought-provoking section of the book, she explains the concept of creating personal networking tiers and identifying their potential uses. She goes into online networking, the creation of a virtual networking tier, and the pleasures and pitfalls of what might be termed hands-free networking. She lets us in on a highly interesting secret: most successful adults are more willing to meet with and help a student than an adult already out in the job market. She lists who among logical networking targets is most likely to know what. She explains why school is such a good place to begin to network for career preparation. She shows how test results can aid students in deciding which job fields or careers to consider. She addresses the importance of the student's reactions to extracurricular activities as clues to the kind of work environment the student is most likely to find productive. She describes how students can develop networking technique and the importance of personal presentation. She's frank about the hazards, limits, and responsibilities of networking. She points out the ethics of 'paying it forward' once the student sits on the other side of the desk. She offers a look at an example of a good network in practice. She admits that, even among family members and friends, there will be both supporters and opponents of student attempts to network for career preparation and shares some of the reasons for both attitudes. Finally, she reminds students, their parents and counselors that networking is a transaction with the future, one well worth pursuing.

To sum up, Hewitt positions school as the best place to begin to network and networking as a sensible activity for any career-minded student, however elevated or modest his or her job expectations, who wants to level the playing field or even acquire an advantage.