Is Your Job Search Suffering Because Of Your Social Circle?

Are your family and friends keeping you from getting a job?

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It is rare to see someone who has gotten a job on their own. There is some reason for a candidates offer of a position and it is rarely indiscriminate. Race, schooling, and who you know are just some of the factors that contribute to a successful job hunt. Madame Noire writer Charing Bell analyzes some of the reasons black unemployment is still over 13%. She cites findings by NY Times writer Nancy Ditomoso about affirmative action.

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.”

Bell says, “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.”

Do you believe that finding a job is about who you know, or what you know?

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