Can I Network with Family & Friends???

Filed in Finding a Job, From the Staff, Life at WPI by on November 20, 2017

Picture this – You’re home from school for a holiday and surrounded by family & friends. You’re all catching up with each other, and odds are you get asked a few of these popular questions:

“So, how’s school going?”
“Hey, what’s your major again?”
“Any new projects you’re working on?”
“What do you want to do, like for a real job?”

You might even get a nice anecdote from a family friend along the lines of:

“Oh hey, my co-worker’s second-cousin’s sister’s kid went to WPI! They work at X company now and I think they had the same major as you. I bet you have a lot in common!”

Or maybe your older cousin just got their dream job and brags about it all night, then asks you:  

“So, what you want to do with your life?”

If you’re like me, you probably dread answering this arsenal of questions. It’s tempting to just respond with a generic “school’s fine”, then change the subject, but with each question comes a potential networking opportunity. We tend to discuss networking in terms that make it seem very structured, as if the only place you can network is at a career fair, networking event, or other organized function. The reality is that you can network anytime and with anybody. Networking is all about connecting with other people so that you can develop contacts, exchange information, and get advice/referrals. Who better to do that with than people who already know you? 

So if you’re home for the holidays and find yourself bombarded by career questions, embrace them! Explain your major to your grandparents, brag about your latest project to your family friends, ask your cousins about their jobs. If you are upfront and professional about what you’re looking for, you could just find something. After all, we live in a small world and you never know what opportunities could be hiding in your own home.

Be sure to check out the CDC’s Networking Tipsheet for more info, tips, and tricks. Good luck with your search and have a great holiday season!


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About the Author ()

Pronouns: she/her or they/them. I'm an Environmental Engineering major from Georgetown, MA. On campus, I act as a Peer Advisor with the Career Development Center, a Resident Advisor with Residential Services, and a Safety Technician with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. I'm also the President of the Alliance at WPI, and have a passion for social justice and advocacy.

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  1. Van Harting says:

    this informative! Jess! Wow helpful Thanks was and very