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by SixFigureStart | August 18, 2009

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Yeah, we know the topic has been pretty well beaten to death already. (Even veteran Pink Slippers have been known to burst into tears when asked to add their latest spin on the subject.) It's certainly no secret; networking -- the face-to-face variety -- is probably the most often recommended activity for unemployees. But with more citizens out of work, and for longer periods, the number of possible points of interaction has increased exponentially.

Guest columnist Heidi Mannetter brings up some great points in the Wall Street Journal today. Aside from all those possible contacts and lead sources, the networking process provides two key ingredients to the job search. Firstly, formal job fairs, events, seminars, classes and the like inject some structure into an often empty day spent lolling about at home on the computer. (There's nothing that makes a person feel more useless than munching cereal and sitting around in pajamas for hours.) Secondly, there's the psychological effect: You'll get feedback on your technique, but even better, you reap mental benefits from the haphazardly constructed jobless community. Messages like "You're not alone!" And: You will find a job because "you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you," in the words of Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley. (In real life, Smalley grew up to become a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, so perhaps you should take his mantra to heart.) Confidence, whether inborn or instilled, is crucial to landing the job once the interview comes through; mopes need not apply.

Today's SAT-style analogy: What "location, location, location" is to real estate, "morale, morale, morale" is to the job search. So go "interact" with someone today. You'll thank yourself later on.

--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer

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