My mixed feelings on Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

 Well, on my hunt for employment I figured I should try to stay sharp through doing some reading. Also, since I tend to be socially awkward in the beginning so I figured something to help remedy that and maybe help me remedy that was to read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. While, I am sure this book tends to be viewed as a self-help book, my hope was to use it to enhance my approach of talking to people while I look for work. 

The weird thing is that this author sort of reminded me of the nice version of Machiavelli, without the whole wanting to conquer Italy vendetta (am pretty sure about the Italy thing but the last time I read that book was high school). I say this because I am sorry to say some of his tips seem like they are manipulating people.  Some example of this is him recommending to  “Arouse in another person an eager want”(Carnegie 79) and “Let the other person feel that an idea is his or hers”(Carnegie 196). However, even with this one example his compelling argument seems to be the golden rule of treating people how they want to be treated. He exemplifies that by reminding readers to be nice to people, smile, listen to them and appreciate what they do.

His whole book in a way revealed to me how self involved people can be since he mentions getting to talk about themselves and to be sympathetic to their needs, wants and desires. He seems to be showing that people like talking about themselves, which is not a bad thing. One part of the book that I admire in the last section of the book is that he focuses on constructive criticism so that people will become better workers, learners, etc.

Even, with my mixed reviews of this book I will be trying to apply some of the concepts that he has taught me for future social interactions. Also, I think this book would also come in handy for networking because his tips come in handy when you want to help someone out a networking event and expect nothing in return.



Hello My name is I am looking for work…

      These past couple networking events have taught me that people these days seemed to be defined what they are doing or not doing rather than who they are as a person. Well, it feels like it lately since all my questions are these past events have been the typical “What do you do?”.  I am not sure if I am the only one who feels this way but I don’t like being defined but what I am doing at this point in time. I would much rather be defined by my interests, like, dislikes, and how I treat you as a person.
The thing is I have a feeling that me like others are unemployed are not thrilled to be put into this little box in which we are defined by what we are not doing at this point in not working, but rather seeking work. I wish their was some other way that the unemployed population could be defined. I am not sure if this will ever change though.
My thought is that the discourse at these networking events needs to change and that the focus should be on getting to know one another rather our own personal agendas.  I say this because from what I have seen the goal seems to be very much the Jefferson’s “I am moving on up” type of scenario.  Their should be less pressure so that those of us who have a hard time interacting with a group of people might actually have a shot at the very least making some acquaintances or friends and maybe in the future a job.  I could be wrong and other networking situations might be like this I have just never experienced them up to this point.  But, for now I would like to just throw out the “I am looking for work” agenda and focus more on getting to know people, because I can do that.
These also has me wonder if other job seekers out there have faced similar issues when trying to network? If so I would love to hear about it, or if you have had awesome experiences networking with others I would like to hear about that also.

The commodity of certainty

   I was at a job fair and talking with one of my volunteer cohorts and we were talking about uncertain one feels when unemployed and how this comes out in networking events. I say this because this person and I both have no idea how to act in this situations even with ample preparation. For example, I have gone to three of these events and to be quite blunt I don’t know what to say, how I should be and if the focus should be on me telling the person about me seeking work, or actually getting to know them as a person. What, I have discovered over much practice with both approaches is that they don’t work and this might be furthered by the fact that I like most unemployed people feel lost and not entirely sure about what to do with themselves.
However, I think this uncertainty comes at a price for those who are out of work, if you don’t know how you plan to define yourself to yourself how are you going to do with the many others that you converse with at a network event.  My new theory is that maybe employees are searching for those that are certain about those and their career path in life.  My guess is that they can’t waste time on those that are feeling lost, uncertain, and want to keep our employment options open to some degree. Also, employers might be okay with people like this it just depends on how they portray it in networking situations.
But, I have a feeling that those have clear goals in sight are able to do more purposeful networking and job hunting compared to those of us who just want work, and to have somewhere to go during the day where we feel like we are making a difference.  I think for me I feel like Marshall when he is looking for work in How I Met Your Mother in the hunt for the perfect hamburger where he just wants to be able to put on pants and go to work.
I think, me like other job seekers just want to be able to put on these metaphorical pants and feel like we have been productive that day.  This being productive being defined as helping with their taxes, tutoring a student, or helping a customer find exactly what they are looking for in a retail environment, anything that makes one feel that they have helped a person, and the reward was just in that. I am not sure if others who are out of work, feel this way but I would love to hear your thoughts readers? Also those that are employed if you have any tips or hints for those of unemployed and are in an uncertainty funk I would also be open to hearing those too…

Networking is supposed to be about actually "networking" right…

    Alright, so tonight I went to a “networking” event if you can even it call it that is another thing in general. I say this because at this “event” it was filled with loud music, loud talking, very little space, you were lucky if you could hear yourself talk much less think.  So how is someone who has not gone to that many of  these networking events supposed to talk with people, much less have stimulating conversation with them.
Also to add insult to injury where networking events these places are known for having free food usually as soon as you arrive, their was nothing until an hour or so into the event and the people who were holding the event tried to get you to buy what they were selling.  So this event disappointed on many levels, leaving me tired, hungry, nervous and very annoyed. This also has me asking are all networking events supposed to be like this?
Furthermore, if they are how are people like me who are introverted, and mildly shy and usually like to pick our moments when joining a conversation supposed to thrive in this type of environment.  This environment that was made harder by the fact that most people were already in cliques and sitting down with people they already knew.  This event just gave me high school flashbacks, and not the good kind.  I thought when people became adults that this high school mentality died down with them.  I was so wrong.  So to all the introverts, nerds, extroverts out there how do you deal when a situation is not all what you expected or when it has been reduced to a mini highschool?   “My Golden rule of networking is simple. Don’t keep score”.
Harvey McKay

Apparently I am viewed as an easy mark….

I have recently joined a networking club and so far I have had two experiences where two members have seemed to think I am easy mark for them to try to sell their wares.  My first experience involved me going to a local Panera only to get a thirty minute tirade on how I should spend five hundred dollars to start my own business. Soon after this experience I got out of their as quickly as I could and made a decision from that point forward to ignore the member who had suggested I join this multilevel marketing scheme.  I will be civil to this person but I do not like them since while waiting for this thirty minute introduction I learned more about them than I ever wanted to know, and that sort of jaded me from wanting to get to know them any further.
My next experience was not as bad but  as I was trying to taking notes during a workshop one of the fellow members in the club asked me if I was open to my opportunities job wise. I was then given a business card and website to visit. I visited this website only to view a video about something was probably too good to be true and that also looked like a marketing scheme.  It is these experiences that have me wondering if I have the word rube stamped on my head and no one told me.  Also the point of the place I just joined is to network and make good contacts.
But how do you deal with people you have figured out the hard way you do not want to network with even if you see them on a weekly to monthly basis?  I think it could be because I am one of the youngest members in the club or they figure I am desperate for money so they think I will get involved in sales to make a buck.  I am sorry to disappoint them but I would like to be able to sell myself through a resume and interview and work hard for my money through an actual job.  So this has me asking the blog-sphere have you ever had people you did not very well think you were an easy mark for some sort of marketing scheme, and if so did you ever do anything about it to show/tell them otherwise?

Murder she wrote and the art of networking….

Well along with being a total nerd I am also obsessed with most mystery shows such as “Elementary”, “Sherlock”, “Castle”, and “Murder She Wrote”.  Most nights to fall asleep rather than watching mind bending Fringe I will watch Murder she wrote because its slow paced and character driven in comparison to most other television shows.  One thing I have learned over the past couple months of watching “Murder She Wrote” is that she is an excellent at networking. She keeps in contact with her past students, publishers, and friends from high school. Please bear in mind in this fictional world she is a busy write with books tours, lecturing in colleges and high schools, and occasionally trying to take vacations when she is done with a novel.  Also no matter where she is she is always friendly to people and acts like she has known them for years even if she just met them.  I think this gregarious behavior that I have come to admire could be applicable in terms of actual networking.
I say this because I am still working on my networking skills I have yet to be able to start random conversations with people I hardly know, truth to be told I sometimes I have a hard time carrying on a conversation with people I have known for years because their is a) nothing to talk about or b) its hard to come up a conversation topic one can debate or talk about for hours.  However, as I try to slowly increase my networking circle the introvert that I am I have learned to talk with people without interrogating them, and have even bonded with some of my CVP members this way.  I think my issue is I need to get over my hurdle of being nervous around others and make more of an effort to discover peoples interests, like, dislikes and try to find some common ground.  Furthermore I need to improve with my follow up, I do it with my friends because well I want to see them, and when you meet someone who gets you and your neurosis and is still ok with it, then you are not about to leave that.  Also with these people I can joke and laugh for hours and time seems to fly by.
I need to try to apply the way I act towards friends towards other people. I need to take a JB approach to network through being nice to all people I see whether I know them or not, and to keep in contact with those people who I like and have some common interest or bond with. Alright, so my question for this blog is if any of my readers have learned anything about networking from a television show, or did they pick it up through actually going to networking events, etc?

I am not sure if I have a dream…

     Alright for the networking group I am in we basically as a group with the help of a perk uplifting speaker who reminded me of a self help book in person form who wanted to help the group figure out what our ideal dream or vision was and how to get there. This for me is very confusing because I have just finished my education at least for now and their are many dreams I would like to accomplish. Also I know because I have goal or dream in mind, that does mean that A) I am good at it B) that I should be making a career out of it. I am at this point in my life where even if I have one clear cut dream and ways to get there that I need to keep my options open if I ever want to make a living and start a career of some sort.
I don’t view this as a negative thing. Also I know for any dreams that I want to happen that I am going to have to work for it. The one thing that the speaker and many of my colleagues did was give me ideas on top of my own ideas of how I was going to get there. But this is scary for me to because just because I want the dream and think I will be good at it, it does not mean that it will happen. I think my issue is that I am too much of a jaded realist and I have learned time and time again that what you plan for in life and what actually happens are two totally different things. I guess this might have been why I had a hard time buying into what the speaker was saying and thinking that if you envision it that it will happen, because life experience has taught me otherwise. So I am curious reader do think I should have taken what the speaker was saying with a grain of salt or just given this person the benefit of the doubt and tried to learn from them?