How “Going Greek” Can Get You a Job

When I was studying for an undergraduate degree at Cornell, housing was not guaranteed beyond freshman year. After that, you signed up for a housing lottery and if your number was in the right range, you were offered dorm housing. So, many people joined sororities and fraternities as one way to secure upperclassmen housing.

However, going Greek has other benefits that last beyond the college years. Networking is a great way to find out about jobs open in your field, and these organizations can help get you started. Clients ask me all the time if they should network with others even if they have not kept in touch — it kind of looks like you are just using friends to get a job. But you should still consider contacting them anyways. Pretty much everyone now knows what a tough job market this is, and you can always offer to act as a contact or liaison yourself as part of the networking process. Don’t forget to extend your networking beyond the people in your particular Greek chapter. Google the national headquarters of your sorority or fraternity to find members around the country and around the world even.

Even if you did not “go Greek” in college, there are other ways to network. Check with your alumni office for a list of people willing to talk with you. National professional associations are another great way to find networking contacts. There are also national military alumni associations, hobby associations and Mastermind groups where members brainstorm ideas on how to move ahead in a career. Religious societies may also give you access to contacts who can help you.

Some of these organizations will have fees or dues, while others will not. It is a good idea if you have the extra money to sign up before you actually need the contacts, as down the road, you may not have the extra cash when you need to network for a job.

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