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Post Reply Networking is manipulation?
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Posted 2/7/16

BlueOni wrote:


Ryulightorb wrote:

So im trying to figure out networking but whenever i look at it all i see is socially acceptable manipulation.
You pretend to be interested in people and talk to them even if you hate there guts or them and you hate talking and become "Friends"
You then use your fake friends connections to help you get better things in life or to better things such as other connections and people to pretend to be friends with.
All Networking is from what i can see is a bunch of people pretending to like eachother and smooth talking eachother in order to benefit themselves.
Am i wrong?


See, here's the thing: that's certainly one way to network, but it's honestly the worst way. There's a difference between constructing an elaborate false identity for yourself and conducting some basic research on your coworkers' interests so you can talk about what they want to every now and again (or better yet, just ask them to explain it and sincerely listen). One is unnecessarily complicated, stressful, and manipulative, the other is just a social kindness. Likewise, there is a difference between pretending you like someone you despise and maintaining a healthy professional relationship. You don't have to like the people you work with, but you do have to maintain a professional atmosphere to sustain workflow. That means no arguing, no biting remarks, and cooperating even when you don't like someone. If they can't do the same and won't respond to requests to maintain basic professionalism then you could always complain to your manager. That's kind of what they're there for, to sustain workflow. If the person you're having a problem with is your manager, just remember: almost every boss has a boss.

As for networking to get work, when people attend networking events and put their names and contact information up on networking sites they know what they're getting into. They are aware that the people who are contacting them are doing so because they're interested in learning more about a workplace, a career field, the direction of an industry from an inside perspective, and so on. You shouldn't feel like you're being manipulative or deceptive about your intentions when you contact people through such avenues. They are there to answer exactly those kind of questions and to give that exact kind of advice. They are there to recruit people for their companies. They know you're not e-mailing them, private messaging them, or calling them because you want to be BFFs. They do not want to gain BFFs through those channels.

Furthermore, pulling strings with the social network you already have is an understood and accepted behaviour. If you have a close friend who works in a field you're qualified for it is okay to ask them to keep an ear to the ground for potential openings in their company. Sometimes you will actually be doing your friend a favour by putting yourself up to have your name passed around, because there are companies that offer financial incentives for referring newcomers. It's also acceptable to have your friends help you prepare for interviews, look for openings, and so on. They're your friends, they care about your welfare pretty much by definition. Make friends sincerely and you'll have a more effective, cooperative network than if you just tried to make friends with anyone and everyone you thought would be able to help you get ahead later on. Attend meetings for clubs and professional groups you actually care about, that you genuinely want to pursue, and the process will proceed naturally. There's nothing manipulative about it then.



so...ugh what if your just someone who despises socialization and avoids talking and small talk?

I mean im nice to whoever i meet but i never pretend to be there friends to me they are just other people.

Hence why personally i don't network because it feels dishonest because in reality i give 0 shits about those around me and have no interest in what there doing.

I mean you are right its one way of many but for me it's the only option and because of that i opt out of networking because it just has to be me pretending to be nice when i don't care nor want to speak with others.
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Posted 2/7/16

ybunnygurl wrote:


Akage-chan wrote:

Gonna leave this here. For those of you who are Americans, have college degrees and no criminal history, get yourself a government job.

Wanna make 100K by the time you're 30? Government job. Want job security? Government job. Short of an act of congress, once you have tenure, you're never getting fired regardless of how much you mess up.

As for networking, the only networking you need to do is buy coffee for your superiors and tell them how wonderful they are. That's really how you get promoted at a government job. It also explains why most people high up in government are incompetent.


That might have worked 10 or so years ago, but let me tell you now getting a government job these days is hard. I have been a contractor to the feds for quite a few years now and unless you are fresh out of college most branches of the government are not looking. Also the agency I work at has not been also not been hiring many people to fill civil service positions they now are going contract... It pretty much sucks. Time to try the foreign service exam a few more time. (guess who I work with)


Networking is how things work, its all who you know. But the ways you use that network can make it manipulation or not.


Thats the problem with society the fact that you need to network.

Someone like me has two choices.

Network and pretend to care and hold back my disgust and loathing of socialization and other people in general and fake everything.

or not network and not get a good job.

Both are pretty much punches to the guts and awful things to do for different reasons.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/7/16


Honestly, I don't think you need to network to get a good job. Sometimes, get you lucky (if you throw in enough hard work into it) But networking does help you get to places faster.

Idk, you seem like a dick for not caring lol. Taking advantage of people for your own gains.
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Posted 2/7/16

Ryulightorb wrote:

so...ugh what if your just someone who despises socialization and avoids talking and small talk?

I mean im nice to whoever i meet but i never pretend to be there friends to me they are just other people.

Hence why personally i don't network because it feels dishonest because in reality i give 0 shits about those around me and have no interest in what there doing.

I mean you are right its one way of many but for me it's the only option and because of that i opt out of networking because it just has to be me pretending to be nice when i don't care nor want to speak with others.


To tell the truth I find social interaction to be draining, and I don't talk much unless it's needed or I feel especially comfortable. I feel physically exhausted if I have to do too much interacting in a given day, and I need a disproportional amount of alone time to recuperate afterward. With that said I am concerned about those around me, and sometimes I find out they're interested in things I never knew I was also interested in until we talked. So I think that's the key difference. Human social interaction is a difficult thing, and people do sometimes talk about absolutely boring subjects. Still, fair's fair, and if they're going to listen to me I have to listen to them sometimes. If I didn't no one would like me, and that would make me feel very lonely. I don't need a lot of social interaction and companionship, but I do need more than zero. So I do have to make myself play the game, but I play it honestly when I do. It seems to pay off for me, anyway.
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Posted 2/7/16
if you look at it like manipulation you're probably doing it wrong.

Networking is just an exercise in building rapport with your peers.

often people try and smooth talk ect. but when it comes down to it they're almost never fooling anyone.
Posted 2/7/16


Someone needs to watch American Psycho.
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Posted 2/7/16

BlueOni wrote:


Ryulightorb wrote:

so...ugh what if your just someone who despises socialization and avoids talking and small talk?

I mean im nice to whoever i meet but i never pretend to be there friends to me they are just other people.

Hence why personally i don't network because it feels dishonest because in reality i give 0 shits about those around me and have no interest in what there doing.

I mean you are right its one way of many but for me it's the only option and because of that i opt out of networking because it just has to be me pretending to be nice when i don't care nor want to speak with others.


To tell the truth I find social interaction to be draining, and I don't talk much unless it's needed or I feel especially comfortable. I feel physically exhausted if I have to do too much interacting in a given day, and I need a disproportional amount of alone time to recuperate afterward. With that said I am concerned about those around me, and sometimes I find out they're interested in things I never knew I was also interested in until we talked. So I think that's the key difference. Human social interaction is a difficult thing, and people do sometimes talk about absolutely boring subjects. Still, fair's fair, and if they're going to listen to me I have to listen to them sometimes. If I didn't no one would like me, and that would make me feel very lonely. I don't need a lot of social interaction and companionship, but I do need more than zero. So I do have to make myself play the game, but I play it honestly when I do. It seems to pay off for me, anyway.


fair enough i just personally can't do that xD
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Posted 2/7/16

Daisuki-Suki wrote:



Honestly, I don't think you need to network to get a good job. Sometimes, get you lucky (if you throw in enough hard work into it) But networking does help you get to places faster.

Idk, you seem like a dick for not caring lol. Taking advantage of people for your own gains.


Well i don't care but i don't want to take advantage of people for my own gains that's why i opt out of networking to me it seems like a dickish thing to do to just use people.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/7/16
I've dealt with corporate life for a long time, networking is an essential part of the corporate world. The saying, " it's not what you know it's who you know" appears to stand firmly in my world. I worked for many years pushing myself beyond my limits mentally and physically to advance. I attempted to use brute force through my knowledge and work ethic to be noticed. I preferred to stay to myself and getting the job done. I failed miserably, starring at the glass ceiling pondering how to elevate. Once I began to network, it opened doors to people I wouldn't of been able to reach previously. Only then did my career advance forward at a rapid pace.

I noticed that manipulation, deceit and betrayal are part of the game in many environments. It is like a reality show where everyone is trying to be the last person standing on the island, but the cost is that your livelihood is at stake. Cliques form and people try to take out the most promising individuals to save themselves.

Let me provide some examples from my experiences.

1. Coworker A and Coworker B appear to be good friends doing the same job together. Coworker A finds out that Coworker B makes $20,000 more in salary. Envy, jealously and hate kicks in and Coworker A does whatever is in their power to discredit Coworker B and get them fired.

2. Employee A has a superior work ethic but lacks networking abilities. Employee B pretends to befriend Employee A and uses them by taking credit for all their work to get promoted. Once Employee B is promoted, he tells management that Employee A, "who is not really noticed in the company", is not a asset to the company. Employee A is terminated. Employee B does this to cover their tracks. Their survival and livelihood is at stake.

3. Employee A is a hard worker but shy, Employee B spends most of his day talking with the bosses talking about sports, and various personal things. The company decides to layoff a large number of people. The bosses know Employee B since they have spent a few happy hours together. Employee A is not noticed by anyone and chosen to be laid off.

At the end of the day, everyone is mostly focused on getting a bigger paycheck. Money can cause a friend to be a enemy tomorrow. Also did you know that most CEO's are psychopaths? Google it and you see many reputable articles discussing it. Dealing with a bunch of psychopaths and sociopaths in general, they are skilled at manipulating, pretending, socializing and doing whatever it takes to advance their own livelihood.

It is possible to advance without networking, it just adds a extra perks or gives you a better chance to score a job or promotion. Behind the scenes, people hire family members all the time, sororities and fraternities secretly hire their own. Rich guys on the golf courses do it, politicians do it. Happens in the military, police force, schools, hospitals, marketing firms. Happens everywhere. You don't have to be sadistic and manipulative to network, yes doing all those evil things will probably advance you quickly, but there is a right way also.

Hide your emotions, don't let people find your weaknesses or create some to throw people off. People will continuously pry into you until they have something to talk about or use against you. If you are too quiet people will make all types of assumptions. In my case I suck at golf. So when people have something negative to say about me that is usually what comes up. Keep your friends close and enemies closer. Continuously educate yourself and keep a close eye on your surroundings. Never let anyone know your secrets. The list of things are endless. I am sure many of you already have this down pack.

Genuinely finding people in your field of work that share the same visions and goals as you works also. You network this way and help each other succeed. There are many paths and variables to take.

The end of my wall of text.
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Posted 2/14/16
eh, personally I don't look that deep into it so I can't offer much of an opinion I suppose. . ..I keep it pretty basic; either adapt and respond to one's environment or go it alone and see how far you get and live by one's own code if you will

Manipulation has a negative connotation attached so I imagine most folks will either embrace it or reject it outright -there isn't much middle ground. Also, most folks have several facets to their personality. There is the work version of themselves, the version around their family, the version around their significant other, etc. -depending on context and application, its a good bet there is some manipulation happening in all of those versions
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Posted 2/14/16

VividDreamZ wrote:

I've dealt with corporate life for a long time, networking is an essential part of the corporate world. The saying, " it's not what you know it's who you know" appears to stand firmly in my world. I worked for many years pushing myself beyond my limits mentally and physically to advance. I attempted to use brute force through my knowledge and work ethic to be noticed. I preferred to stay to myself and getting the job done. I failed miserably, starring at the glass ceiling pondering how to elevate. Once I began to network, it opened doors to people I wouldn't of been able to reach previously. Only then did my career advance forward at a rapid pace.

I noticed that manipulation, deceit and betrayal are part of the game in many environments. It is like a reality show where everyone is trying to be the last person standing on the island, but the cost is that your livelihood is at stake. Cliques form and people try to take out the most promising individuals to save themselves.

Let me provide some examples from my experiences.

1. Coworker A and Coworker B appear to be good friends doing the same job together. Coworker A finds out that Coworker B makes $20,000 more in salary. Envy, jealously and hate kicks in and Coworker A does whatever is in their power to discredit Coworker B and get them fired.

2. Employee A has a superior work ethic but lacks networking abilities. Employee B pretends to befriend Employee A and uses them by taking credit for all their work to get promoted. Once Employee B is promoted, he tells management that Employee A, "who is not really noticed in the company", is not a asset to the company. Employee A is terminated. Employee B does this to cover their tracks. Their survival and livelihood is at stake.

3. Employee A is a hard worker but shy, Employee B spends most of his day talking with the bosses talking about sports, and various personal things. The company decides to layoff a large number of people. The bosses know Employee B since they have spent a few happy hours together. Employee A is not noticed by anyone and chosen to be laid off.

At the end of the day, everyone is mostly focused on getting a bigger paycheck. Money can cause a friend to be a enemy tomorrow. Also did you know that most CEO's are psychopaths? Google it and you see many reputable articles discussing it. Dealing with a bunch of psychopaths and sociopaths in general, they are skilled at manipulating, pretending, socializing and doing whatever it takes to advance their own livelihood.

It is possible to advance without networking, it just adds a extra perks or gives you a better chance to score a job or promotion. Behind the scenes, people hire family members all the time, sororities and fraternities secretly hire their own. Rich guys on the golf courses do it, politicians do it. Happens in the military, police force, schools, hospitals, marketing firms. Happens everywhere. You don't have to be sadistic and manipulative to network, yes doing all those evil things will probably advance you quickly, but there is a right way also.

Hide your emotions, don't let people find your weaknesses or create some to throw people off. People will continuously pry into you until they have something to talk about or use against you. If you are too quiet people will make all types of assumptions. In my case I suck at golf. So when people have something negative to say about me that is usually what comes up. Keep your friends close and enemies closer. Continuously educate yourself and keep a close eye on your surroundings. Never let anyone know your secrets. The list of things are endless. I am sure many of you already have this down pack.

Genuinely finding people in your field of work that share the same visions and goals as you works also. You network this way and help each other succeed. There are many paths and variables to take.

The end of my wall of text.


Good Lord, am I suddenly glad I didn't major in business. There's an entirely different culture in my neck of the woods. Sure, you still have to be social, friendly, engaged, and hardworking all at once, and networking still matters, but we're not constantly plotting against one another like we're living in some sort of Machiavellian nightmare. Everyone rather likes everyone, even the shy ones.
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Posted 2/14/16
^Yikes that's a pretty depressing career, people chasing numbers all year is just not fun.

But OP, this is a pretty useless thread. Networking isn't manipulation, it's more of a unity.
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Posted 2/14/16
always good to have friends in high places......and low places
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Posted 2/14/16
100 percent correct. AT ALLL TIMES its better to get along. I"v experienced alot in life... I'v gotten to the conclusion i don't even care how bad the people are around me. I like everyone how they are but i will most likely still try to manipulate them towards success. I'v had all type of different friends. Networking is very useful... Having connections > having 0 connections. I know some one who use to earn around 25-30k. he talks to an old friend from College. He hooks him up with a new job now ears 300-400k a year. So yeah i'd say its better to network and get along with people. Just be aware and don't let others manipulate for failure.
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 2/14/16
You probably benefit them more than you realize.
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