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College Students

Basic Networking I: Parents

Have you ever been embarrassed by your parents? Of course you have. It’s in their contract as parents that they have to, at some point in your life, embarrass you in front of all your friends. Whether it’s with a ridiculous set of Hawaiian shirts, incredibly dumb jokes or, Batman forbid, baby nicknames. So for all the embarrassment, the second you move into your new dorm or apartment, you act like you don’t know them unless you need money for textbooks and Xbox games. Circle of life.

Here’s why that is a really bad idea: networking is essential. The initial web of everyone’s network starts with your parents. Alienating your parents cuts off your web. They know people, whether they are friends, employers, fellow co-workers and even other relatives who can help you gain that competitive edge and get on the right track. Your dad’s boss might know of an opening in another department where you can get a start, or your mother’s co-worker might know of a friend in Company X who is looking for someone with your exact qualifications.

Asking your parents for help outside of money and laundry advice is not a sign of weakness. Give them a chance to help you out with your career. And why wouldn’t they want to? The sooner you get a real job and start your life, the sooner they can turn your room into a library- thanks Mom. So put up with the nicknames and the constant weekly phone calls that cut into your afternoon nap. Parents are a resource, and much like your school, will use whatever tools are at their disposal to help you succeed.

Ready to move on? Part II and Part III right here!

Questions? Ideas or suggestions? Follow me on twitter @ChrisComella or email me at ccomella@sparkhire.com

Christopher Comella

Christopher earned his BA in Political Science from DePaul University in 2011, and is no stranger to writing and deadlines. One of his greatest assets is to add humor to even the driest of subjects, which is why half of his professors love him and the other half hated his work.