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Networking for the Career-Minded StudentThird EditionRevised and Enlarged

FROM INTRODUCTION: STUDENT POWER, PRIORITIES AND POSSIBILITIESThis book is about the right and ability of students to use their time in school to get a head start on the future.
The book is based on the premise that, when they become adults, today’s students will want to support themselves in whatever lifestyle they consider appropriate. Further, we accept that most of them aren’t going to inherit a family fortune or business that guarantees this level of support. And that leads us to the conclusion that most of the young people currently walking school hallways must ultimately venture into the broader world and find a job, or create one for themselves.
Now, it would be nice if, at the moment today’s students enter the adult workplace, the “right” job magically appears and they are able to launch themselves into it without any messy preliminaries. This “right” job would, of course, enable them to use their personal abilities to maximize income potential even as they experience the sense of fulfillment that a satisfying work life can bring.
Magic being in short supply, however, it’s more likely that, when today’s students enter the adult job market, the job they get or create for themselves will be what’s most readily available when they’re available. The job may suit them and their ambitions, or it may not. The point is, if they have not already taken some control of their occupational destinies, most of today’s students will find themselves solely at the mercy of economic times and workplace tides.
No one can totally control his or her occupational destiny, of course, but there are ways to influence the outcome of the individual’s job market experience. This book concerns one of the most powerful strategies that can be used to pursue workplace success. I’m talking about networking. More specifically, I’m talking about purposeful networking as a mechanism that students are ideally situated to employ in relation to career preparation.
The principles shared can be helpful for any educational level or any stage of career development. The target audience, however, consists of those between the ages of seventeen and twenty-four, which is to say a student in college pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree or in the last year of high school.
This book’s aim is to introduce students to networking concepts and approaches capable of supporting their decision-making process and the occupational goals that result from it. Further, the aim is to provide this introduction to purposeful networking at the time in the student’s life when the tool can do the most good.
Job-market information is power, but only if you know what to do with it. True power comes with understanding how to use information within a context shaped by your goals. Purposeful networking can provide both the information and the context. Students who master this strategy will have a head start on whatever’s going on in the world of work.

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