the Try Guys drama, when a coworker badgers you about holiday time off, and more

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. The Try Guys drama — can they fire Alex?

Just for fun, I am wondering if you could weigh in on a pop/internet-culture moment that’s been all over my feeds this week. A popular YouTube group (four members — the “Try Guys”) recently parted with one member, due to him cheating on his wife with one of their producers. He is an owner in the company and so the producer is his employee. His whole persona was centered around his wife (who is featured often on the channel) and being a family man. The employee/producer he cheated with was also cheating on her partner of 10 years. Details are unclear, but it seems possible it was not a singular incident and perhaps something that had been happening for a while? Maybe?

The group kicked him out (their statement says he is no longer working with them). No word on what will become of the female producer. However, I’ve seen SO many TikToks/tweets from armchair experts saying they can’t fire her because she was his employee and due to the power imbalance it is a lawsuit waiting to happen. My question: is this true? I want to be sensitive to any power imbalance that might have contributed to the situation (because I know it happens!), but if a boss/employee have an affair is the employee always excused from repercussions at work? Could she face any repercussions? Is it really always a potential lawsuit?

I obviously don’t know all the details and I’m not advocating for any specific outcome, just curious if these armchair experts are accurate.

It’s not that it would be illegal to fire the employee — and some companies do fire both parties in situations like this — but it could increase the legal risk for the company. The concern for the company is that the employee could argue that she was coerced, subtly or not so subtly, to enter the relationship or remain in it after she wanted to end it, because of the power the owner had over her job. She could argue that if she remains employed too, of course — but the concern for lawyers is often that people are more likely to approach it that way if they feel the company has mistreated them (on top of whatever else happened). And indeed, if there was any type of coercion or harassment, firing the person who was subjected to it is a really bad thing to do — for legal reasons, yes, but also for basic ethical ones. Plus, there’s the principle that the person with the power is more responsible than the person without the power.

(As a side note, it used to be routine that when this kind of thing was uncovered, the woman was dismissed while the more powerful man remained — and that has been found to be illegal, because it was clearly based on gender.)

2. When a coworker badgers you about holiday time off

This happened a couple years ago but as everyone’s booking their December holiday leave at my office, I recalled something that is very likely to happen again. Due to mandatory coverage, only one or two people in my area of specialization can take time off at the same time. I booked time off for Christmas in July because I know how hard it can be to get time off during the big holidays and I rarely ask for time off over holidays at all as I don’t have kids and with WFH makes it almost a non-issue. However, that particular year, another staff member tried to guilt me into cancelling my leave so they could have it off instead, as they were the only other person trained in processing X at the time.

I didn’t cave and I gave non-committal “haha yeah, I worked that time last year it’s super dull” and “mhm” answers. But they kept pushing it, saying stuff like, “Team Leader told me you were the one who got the week after new years off” … “when did you book that?” … “What are you going to do with that time off?” … “I was hoping to spend more time with my nieces and nephews before they go back to school” … “are you going out of state?”

It petered out when I mentioned I hadn’t seen anyone in my family for over two years, but it still threw me for a loop and the entitlement really rubbed me the wrong way. If it happens again, is grey-rocking and a few mmhmms the best way to do it or is there a secret key to dealing with this kind of policy (and this kind of coworker) I should know?

You can either stick with the boring, non-committal answers or you can say point-blank, “Are you asking if I’ll move my time off? I really can’t — sorry.”

Ideally employers with coverage needs should put some energy into ensuring that time off at desirable times of the year is equitably distributed. With first-come first-served systems, if you have someone who always turns into their holiday requests early, it can mean they get all the prime vacation slots every year and others never do. Some employers use seniority (not a great system, especially if you have low turnover, which can leave some people never getting the time off they want) or ranked preferences. Some use rotations where you get one holiday off this year and a different one the next. What works best will depend on your office, but one thing that often helps is offering an incentive for people to sign up for holiday coverage, like premium pay or extra days off in exchange.

3. Is it true that most jobs are filled by networking?

I am, at this moment, sitting in a conference for information communication technology. I am attending a mini session aimed at increasing women in the industry. The speaker said something that took me aback. She was explaining how networking is incredibly important and then said, “84% of positions are filled via networking, only 16% are filled via ads.”

I am wondering what your take is on this? Is this really true? Certainly, having a professional network is an obvious boon to those who can manage it but would you agree the difference is so stark as that? I am not currently looking for a job but might be in a year or so. The idea that I need to have insiders or sponsors to have even a three-quarters chance at a job is disheartening.

Nope! This is a number that has been tossed around for years, but if you look into where it came from, no one ever seems to be able to find a source. There’s no data backing it up.

Jonathan Blaine had a good post debunking it 10 years ago. But it keeps getting repeated by people who hear it and just assume it’s true without fact-checking it (or simply testing it against their own experience hiring).

That doesn’t mean networking isn’t valuable or that some jobs don’t go unadvertised. It is, and they do. But 84% is a crazily high number with nothing backing it up, and it tends to freak out job seekers and make them think they’ll never get a job just from responding to ads — which is convenient for people who make money by convincing job seekers they need to pay for help.

4. How early should I log on for a video interview?

So excited — after following your suggestions in Secrets of a Hiring Manager, I’m one of five people who moved onto a second round interview with the hiring manager for a job I’m super interested in! Since my Zoom interview is tomorrow morning: how many minutes beforehand would you suggest I log in — two minutes? Five minutes? I don’t want to look overeager but I do want to allow for the vagaries of Internet connections.

I’d say three to five minutes but no earlier. (Some platforms — including Zoom, I believe — will send an email to the organizer when someone is waiting so you don’t want to show up much earlier than that. Three to five minutes is reasonable though.)

{ 586 comments… read them below }

  1. GeorgeFayne*

    I’m so glad you’re addressing the Employee/Employer part of the Ned/Alex Try Guys story. Ned’s statement (likely drafted by a lawyer or PR person) referred to a “consensual workplace relationship” and every time I see that I find myself shouting at my screen that it CAN’T be fully consensual when one party is an owner of a company and the other party is an Employee of that company. It’s a gross situation without considering that factor, but adding the Employee/Employer layer sends it into a different stratosphere. (With, of course, the additional fun fact that Ned’s wife Ariel is also enmeshed in that same company). Yikes on SO MANY bikes.

    1. octopodes*

      “consensual workplace relationship” feels deliberately crafted to head off any concerns regarding the power imbalance, but it’s quite tone-deaf for the person in the position of power to think they’re the one who can do that.

      1. Sleey*

        that was my thought. either he or someone he asked to read it, made sure to include that little tidbit and ruined the effect of the apology, in my opinion (I only recently heard about these guys).

      2. Hamster Manager*

        Totally agree, I definitely read that statement in the “iT wAs CoNsEnTuAl” tone of voice, haha. He knows he’s in trouble.

    2. Language Lover*

      Ned’s statement (likely drafted by a lawyer or PR person) referred to a “consensual workplace relationship” and every time I see that I find myself shouting at my screen that it CAN’T be fully consensual when one party is an owner of a company and the other party is an Employee of that company.

      Just because there’s a power differential in a relationship doesn’t automatically make the person with less power unable to consent to a relationship with the person with more power. Even if that person is their boss.

      The truth is, the only person who knows whether or not she consented to the relationship (i.e. didn’t fear for her job or didn’t feel coerced) is Alex. And sometimes, things that start out as consensual lead to non-consensual, manipulative or harassing behaviors when things go sour.

      Ned doesn’t get to make that claim for her, and since he has the power and the wife, he’s more to blame in my eyes. But people also sometimes have affairs with the boss solely because they want to. It’s a bad idea all around but it doesn’t make automatically make it non-consensual.

      1. Tinkerbell*

        It’s not that the employee is unable to consent, but all too often they’re unable to NOT consent which is the problem :-\

        1. Starbuck*

          Right, you can start out getting into it totally willingly and enthusiastically, but then if you have doubts later on or want to end it…. SO much harder

      2. Caroline+Bowman*

        The other party to the thing also has a partner, very long term and whilst as the owner he’s clearly got more of the power, the affair partner may well be very senior themselves.

        It’s really icky obviously, mostly because of the hypocrisy of the whole thing, but I wouldn’t leap to ”he was COERCING the other person!!”. The other person shouldn’t be fired because they are not publicly declaring themselves a Family Person In Love-Love-Love with their spouse. They’re just a common-or-garden cheating cheater who cheats on their partner.

      3. orange line avenger*

        Thank you. The claim that no workplace relationship between a higher-level person and a lower-level person can be consensual is the same kind of absolutist thinking that led to the second-wave “all sex is rape” school of thought.

        I’m not arguing that all such relationships are above-board (or even that this one is) but it’s pretty insulting and infantilizing to assume that this stranger MUST have been pressured or coerced. Absolutely none of the information that’s become public has suggested that, and it’s jumpinf to conclusions to insist that is the case. It wasn’t a teenaged intern and a CEO, it was a senior employee and the big boss. Not ideal, but not inherently predatory.

          1. orange line avenger*

            “People in positions of lesser power cannot provide meaningful consent to any sexual encounter; therefore all sexual encounters are assault” as an absolutism is the underpinning logic behind many second-wave feminists arguments, particularly those influenced by Angela Dworkin. It’s a pretty extreme position, and I’m seeing shades of it all up and down this comment thread, and it’s frustrating to me to see those same lines of thinking reproduced uncritically.

            Equally frustrating is having a valid critique of that all-or-nothing, black-or-white logical fallacies dismissed as “a little dramatic.”

            1. Green Tea*

              Oh gosh, you used quotation marks like you were quoting another commenter, but when I did a search, nothing came up. And no comment I read said anything like that.

              So maybe you are exaggerating and distorting the argument of others in order to invalidate them?

            2. Nina*

              did you mean Andrea Dworkin? If so, I’d recommend reading her work because it’s not as extreme as you’re painting it.

        1. Starbuck*

          I don’t see people saying it’s inherently non-consensual, just that it’s inherently unethical (for him especially) due to the power imbalance.

        2. Ellis Bell*

          Of course she might have consented… So? He was still abusing his power even if she did consent to let him. Even if she was cool with it, he should have paid more attention to his duty as her boss. How’s her professional reputation today do you think?

          1. orange line avenger*

            I certainly haven’t seen her name in the headlines, with the exception of sites like this where people are gleefully rummaging through the drama for the sake of it under the guise of being modern ethical scholars. Have you?

            1. The Snake*

              You haven’t seen her name cuz she isn’t the most famous person. Wasn’t he on camera all the time for years? Isn’t he a crucial part of the brand, with his face plastered everywhere along with the others? You don’t see her cuz her role is primarily behind the camera and offscreen.

            2. Harper the Other One*

              Well, for one, there are whole articles about “who is Alexandria who cheated with Ned,” including ones trying to ping down her birth date by scouring her Instagram feed.

              But also, comment sections on the article about Ned are being pretty vicious to her too, all the usual home wrecker, sl*t, and other insults being tossed around.

              Her professional reputation will be seriously affected by this.

            3. Stationary Hoarder*

              Yes, I have. As Harper the Other One said, there have been people writing expose articles about her and calling her all manner of misogynist insults.

            4. Ellis Bell*

              I’m not talking about her reputation in popular spaces, but professionally. She’s not to be slandered or blamed, but unless she’s terrific at spin she hasn’t walked away with any great professional direction to speak of.

      4. anonymath*

        The power dynamic is not just about consent, though. Let’s say for thought-experiment purposes that it is all 100% consensual, but by being in the relationship, the lower-power person has access to special information, special consideration, special influence on business direction or decision-making, extra opportunities — or by contrast is *denied* some of those things because the two folks having the relationship think they can make it more ethical/acceptable by putting up some sort of firewall. In either case, the normal dynamics of the workplace are warped and change the situation of other employees.

        Consent between the individuals masks the fact that other employees are often affected and they don’t get to have a voice or choice.

        1. Hannah Lee*

          That’s a really good point. These kinds of relationships/affairs don’t exist in a vacuum. There are always aspects that impact other people in that workplace.

          And that’s often complicated, made worse by the opaque nature of a hidden affair – if there are bottlenecks or gaps or odd seeming decisions or one of the affair partners distracted, or absent from what they’d usually be involved in, or involved in something they normally wouldn’t be* but it’s not clear what’s driving the oddness, it’s hard to anticipate or manage around. Plus invariably at least one or both affair partners get so caught up in sneaking around, prioritizing hook up time that their on the job decision making, effectiveness can falter.

          And that’s before you get into the fall out when the affair comes to light.

          *at one job, a 5 day offsite for Department A (say Teapot Products) to strategize on future plans, direction where a sales associate from Department B (Llama Grooming Services) was there, staying in the same hotel, attending and participating in some of the strategy sessions even though her experience, job function, responsibilities had zero to do with teapots or beverage accessories or consumer goods markets. So the core team members who might have trusted enough to speak freely among themselves were more reserved with this random person in the room, team building events were less powerful because either a total stranger was there or the VP hosting the offsite was absent. And downtime was often consumed with gossip and speculation instead of normal decompressing, recreation – who is she, why is she even here, why does VP keep asking for her input when she doesn’t have any skills, background in what we do, why do she and VP disappear from events at the same time?

          Then two months later, it turned out he had put her up in a home around the corner from the home he shared with his wife and two kids, she filed a sexual harassment suit against him, people in her department filed complaints about unfair and unprofessional behavior that impacted them and it turned into an absolute mess that derailed Department A to the point that management just blew it up, including laying off some, and knocking other employees off their advancement paths, to avoid having to deal with restoring it after VP’s mess.

        2. Language Lover*

          I’m not defending boss/subordinate relationships. I agree with your points.

          I was just disagreeing that the affair partner couldn’t consent since consent has such a specific meaning when it comes to sexual relationships.

      5. GeorgeFayne*

        I should have been more clear in what I meant (I saw this in the middle of the night my time and jumped to comment without fully taking time to think through my wording).

        I did not think that Ned using the term “consensual workplace relationship” was a correct assessment for HIM to be making of the situation.

        1. Ned was an owner of the company. Alexandria was/is an employee. She may be prominent in their videos and is credited as an Assistant Producer/Producer, but the owners of the company have the power to hire, fire, promote, etc

        2. A point that existed in my head and didn’t translate through to my fingers is that Ned has gone on record as saying that he handles all of the HR for the their company. Which means if anyone wanted to report him or Alexandria, they are reporting him either to himself or to the other three owners of the company who have referred to themselves as “best friends”. If ALEXANDRIA decided that she no longer consented to the relationship and were to receive backlash, she would have to report Ned to himself or to one of his three “best friends”.

        3. Ned using the term consensual means that his assessment is that the relationship was consensual. That is not the reported result of the internal investigation that took place, that is not Alexandria’s statement, that is Ned’s statement. As Taylor Tomlinson said in one of her stand-up specials, “Consent, which is a noise that SHE makes – not a feeling that YOU feel” (referring to the dynamic between a man and a woman, but should be applied to all people regardless of gender identity). The idea that whoever wrote that statement for him was trying to re-write the narrative is what was irritating me. Almost every piece of coverage listed Alexandria as Ned’s “colleague” or “co-worker” – but she was his EMPLOYEE.

        4. I agree that Alexandria could have entered into this relationship “consensually” – she is a grown adult woman who is capable of making decisions for herself. But once in this situation, did she have full agency to remove herself if she wanted to? Ned did. The only thing that might have stopped him would have been Alexandria outing him to his friends and family. If Alexandria decided to end things Ned had a lot more power over her professional situation. Consent is an on-going process, and freely given consent also needs to be able to be withdrawn without an imbalance of repercussions.

        5. I’m trying not to get into the personal-level moralizing of the situation. Even if neither of them had been married/partnered and this came out, I still would not feel great about it – and I imagine that the others who work for that company would not feel great about it either. I think it would be much easier to gloss over if they had both been unattached when this happened – and also if they were not in the public eye.

        1. Laura*

          This is really well articulated and perfectly sums up what I’ve felt whenever I’ve seen people shooting down criticisms of the power dynamic.

          1. Lily*

            Also,
            “Consent is an on-going process, and freely given consent also needs to be able to be withdrawn without an imbalance of repercussions.”
            So true and so accurate. I’m keeping this.

    3. MK*

      Yes, it absolutely can be fully consensual. Not every employee lives in fear of losing their job and not every employer uses their authority to pressure employees inappropriately. You just don’t hear about the instances where a higher-up asked an employee out, was rejected and that was the end of it, or they had a consensual relationship, because it’s a non-issue. Of course, it’s a difficult situation, and a stupid idea in general to ask a subordinate out, but you don’t get to make a summary judgment on other people’s relationships, and consent by definition is determined by the person who has to give it. Which I think is why you find this grating: it’s not that it can’t be consensual, it’s that, as others mentioned, the person who can claim that is the employee, not the employer.

      1. Starbuck*

        “You just don’t hear about the instances where a higher-up asked an employee out, …. they had a consensual relationship, because it’s a non-issue. ”

        But it’s actually pretty much always an issue with the workplace. It IS inherently unethical to do this, even if it seems to go well for the two parties involved (for all the other reasons people have discussed in this thread) which is why most employers forbid it.

      2. Ellis Bell*

        The problem with “only the victim can say”, is that very often they don’t; not even to themselves. Hear me out. If I was talking to an employee who had an affair with the boss, I’d quote you verbatim and I would totally defer to their definition of what happened. I also think that genuine consent even happens. But… we all crave our boss’s approval on some level and we follow their lead! It’s not enough to create attraction out of nothing, but it might be enough to put aside some concerns about being in an affair. It would also be more difficult to be more distant and put the brakes on an inappropriate crush if it’s your boss asking for your time. It shouldn’t be an employee’s responsibility to do that.

      3. Rain's Small Hands*

        You here about it all the time. I know about four people in the past five years who have been fired because they had an “inappropriate consensual relationship” For one that happened with quite a bit of publicity, see Brian Dunn, Best Buy CEO.

        My husband, about 20 years ago, had to fire a guy who worked with him who decided that having a relationship with a woman who worked for him was a good idea. She said it was consensual. They were both fine with it. The company wasn’t. Policy – chose your job or your partner – you can’t have both. (She stayed because the policy was a manager couldn’t have a relationship with someone within his/her chain of command – not that the subordinate couldn’t. She did however, quit in a huff. The shame is that they could have reorganized her had they come forward, but since they were both married to other people…..).

        1. Flash Packet*

          I’ve seen consensual boss/employee relationships done right just one single time in my 40+ years of working.

          It was at a big box retail store. One of the store managers and one of the head cashiers took a liking to each other, spent more and more off-hours time together, and then had an aha moment of realizing they were more than friends and would like to move the relationship even further into romantic territory.

          So they went to the District Manager to ask if one of them could be moved to another location, to remove the chain of command issue from their budding relationship. Another store close by had an open manager slot, so the manager went there and the head cashier stayed put.

          They got married a year or two later. :-)

          1. Laura*

            That’s really cute! And a perfect example of how to handle that sort of situation responsibly and ethically.

        2. Harper the Other One*

          This is the thing, it is often possible to have a responsible, fully consensual and ethical relationship between people on different levels in an org, but it takes planning. Make sure nobody is evaluating a current/potential partner, make sure both parties have someone they can trust to be impartial they can go to. It takes some work but it IS doable.

      4. No, doesn’t always mean no repercussions*

        I don’t think it truly can be. The employee is taking risks if she says yes, but also if she says no. Everyone is talking about the successful relationship, but what happened if he pursued her and she genuinely wanted to say no? There is no way an employee can guarantee their boss who made a move will react without retaliation. That’s why it can’t be completely considered consensual.

        The casting couch stereotype is there for a reason, people who said no in Hollywood get blackballed.

    4. MEH Squared*

      Yeah, same. When the whole situation was unfolding, I found myself wondering what Alison would say about it and what she did say was pretty much what I thought she would.

      I, too, was perturbed by the fact that everyone glossed over the part that he is one of the owners of the company and signs her paycheck, so it can’t truly be consensual. Not to say she didn’t want to sleep with him–just that the fact that he was her boss supersedes that. I get that he said that for legal reasons (probably), but it really stuck in my craw.

      I liked the Try Guys back when they were at BuzzFeed and supported them when they first went solo. Then, I liked them less and less as time went on in part because of the lax boundaries they had at their own company. I will always support Eugene, though.

      1. Observer*

        so it can’t truly be consensual. Not to say she didn’t want to sleep with him–just that the fact that he was her boss supersedes that.

        I fundamentally disagree with that. People do have agency. And the existence of a power differential does not automatically make that disappear. Yes, the power differential absolutely does bring the possibility that it was not consensual and the only person who really knows what the truth is the person with less power. But it’s deeply disrespectful to assume that if she actually wanted this relationship, she didn’t REALLY want it because it’s not possible for her to want it.

        1. Caroline+Bowman*

          Exactly. A lot hangs on the age and rank of the other party. A senior producer in their 30’s, also gleefully cheating on their long-term partner? That’s one thing. A 22 year old college-leaver, delighted to be in their first professional job, something completely different.

          As the owner, he had a massive obligation to behave with integrity, but obviously someone who cheats on their spouse and humiliates them in this way has none of that and is gross and a massive hypocrite. I think that’s what’s caused the furore honestly. People have affairs and betray the people they claim to love, it happens, it’s not a federal crime, but as with very religious Godly types who do this or worse, the fact that they loudly proclaim themselves Family People, cleaner-than-clean types, whose whole schtick is built around that, the flat out lying is what irritates people.

        2. The Original K.*

          A boss and his subordinate (think VP with a director) at a previous employer of mine had an affair, left their respective spouses and married each other (they were rumored to be having an affair when I worked there and then a year or two after I left I noticed that she’d changed her name – we’re connected on LinkedIn), so yeah, I’d say their relationship was consensual. Such a thing is possible.

        3. hbc*

          I think the point that people are making with the power imbalance is that the person with power can never know that the person consented. So even if the lower-ranked person is head-over-heels and totally willing, the higher-ranked person is always at least a little scummy for getting involved because *they* are deciding that their uncertainty about consent isn’t a barrier.

        4. BethDH*

          I have trouble thinking well of the other party, even when the person with lower power consents, because the higher-power person can’t know for sure that their partner really has consented. And who wants to be in a relationship where you aren’t sure whether your partner feels coerced?
          Ethically I think the answer is that the person with power in this situation should be making steps to maintain or increase the independence of the other party — taking themselves out of supervisory roles (NOT transferring the lower-ranked partner) and ideally changing employers. Obviously that’s hard to do when you’re the owner and the company is built on you as a public person.

        5. Marcia*

          He had partial control of her paycheck and her health insurance. You can want to be in a relationship with someone, but that doesn’t change that he had significant leverage over her.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              Sure, but generally a stay at home spouse engages consensually in a relationship before entering that role. Also, if they get “fired” from it they’re probably going to get alimony payments. A person just working under someone as an employee doesn’t have as much of a safety net.

            2. Amorphous Eldritch Horror*

              Yes, we could, which is an argument for universal basic income and also another discussion.

          1. Language Lover*

            But that also doesn’t mean it was nonconsensual. It can be problematic. There all sorts of potential issues. But she could have also been the one to make the first move.

            Nonconsensual sex is rape. We have no indication that this 30 year old woman of sound mine was raped.

            1. Nina*

              I think the issue is that while it could have been consensual – and definitely, it could! that’s absolutely a thing that could have happened and ruling it out ignores that adult humans have agency – we who are reading, and Ned the company owner who has been making the public statements and also apparently acting as the company HR, do not have any way to be 100% confident that it was consensual.

              If you’re not 100% confident that the person you want to screw is enthusiastically into it, you should definitely not screw that person.

        6. Cj*

          I’m glad other people are pushing back on the idea that it couldn’t have been consensual. I won’t go into my thoughts about the fact that I believe it could be consensual because other people have already stated the same thing I would have.

          I do agree that the only person that can know/say that it was consensual is the producer in question, not the owner of the company.

        7. Ellis Bell*

          I don’t think anyone is trying to measure how much she *really* wanted the relationship because it’s besides the point. I don’t care if she wrote a letter to Santa begging for a shot at him. I am super interested in why some people are so invested in the idea that a boss should sleep with their subordinates though.

          1. Mediocre Employee*

            I read it less as people saying a boss should sleep with their subordinates and more as trying to differentiate between the rules of HR, which have to be pretty black-and-white and clearly defined, and the ethics of interpersonal relationships as a whole.

      2. EmmaPoet*

        Lax boundaries? I haven’t watched them in a while, so I’m curious. I did kind of get a tech-bro feeling when they were filming at the office.

      3. Shhhh*

        I don’t think it’s really been glossed over. I mean, there are individuals commenting on it that have glossed over it and HE certainly glossed over it, but I’ve personally seen this part of the situation discussed quite a bit on TikTok, on reddit, on Twitter, etc.

        I’m mostly just amazed that I’m as online as I am and had literally never heard of any of these people until this week.

    5. I Would Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

      With the caveat that I know nothing about this particular organisation — I’m not sure I agree and I think it depends a lot on how hierarchy and culture are structured in an company.

      Companies with solid HR can create reporting structures that mean that a senior-level employee can ask out a lower-level employee without any meaningful impact on the job. I think you typically see this at larger companies with departments that run fairly autonomously.

      Another factor will be the respective privilege and power of the two individuals. There are absolutely orgs where the individual contributer will have more market power and more career options than the manager or even company owner. A 40-year old individual contributor in an-demand field is going to have a lot more agency than a newly minted grad in a low-pay field.

      I can hear an argument that systemic power differentials inherently exist always, but then that arguably would be true for all relationships, not just workplace-based ones.

      Again: this is speaking hypothetically — I do not follow Try Guys so IDK if this applies there.

      1. 2nd Try*

        Since you mentioned that the employee should have the opportunity to go to hr even when there is a power imbalance, I think it is worth noting that Ned headed the HR functions for the company. So, Alex would have been reporting Ned to himself.

    6. Phony Genius*

      I’m having a similar reaction to the situation with the Boston Celtics’ head coach. He’s not the owner, but a lot of people are saying “it was consensual.” Not if she worked under him.

      1. Bubbletea*

        Maybe we need to be using a different word here – it’s not about consent not being possible to give, so much as freedom to withdraw consent without significant repercussions beyond the relationship. A situation where one partner had power over the financial situation of the other and used that to control their choices would be called economic abuse. This situation is just one possible format of that dynamic, and I’d argue it’s unethical in the same way that having sex with a very drunk person is unethical. Maybe they DO consent, but the risk that they’re being influenced by the position/state they’re in is too high.

        1. MEH Squared*

          Agree. We do need to come up with a better word. I used consent myself further up and with consequent comments realized why I would not use that word in the future, but still stand behind the concept because of what you outline here.

        2. Kella*

          No, “consent” is the correct word. Consent is much more than just really wanting to do something.

          If you have unprotected sex with your partner because you are under the assumption the two of you are monogamous, and then it turns out that just the day before, your partner had unprotected sex with someone else, the sex you had retroactively becomes non-consensual, because the consent was not fully informed. It doesn’t matter how much you wanted to do it at the time.

          A drunk person who really really wants to have sex with you cannot consent because they are not of sound mind to make that decision. (You can, however, establish in an ongoing relationship that sex while drunk is cool with you because that’s negotiated consent ahead of time.)

          Consent means:
          -You enthusiastically opt in to doing the thing
          -You are fully informed about the risks of doing that thing
          -You are free to opt-out at any time without consequences to your safety or livelihood
          -You are of sound mind to assess whether you want to do the thing and the relative risk to you if you do it.

          A lot of people here are using the word “consent” to mean “wanted to” and that’s not what it means.

      2. AliciaB*

        Yes I thought of that one too! Although in that case I heard that it was not consensual, but maybe he would say the same thing as the TryGuy so who knows.

    7. Audrey*

      I was so happy to see this discussion on AAM! I’ve been very invested in this — partially because of reading this site!

    8. MCMonkeyBean*

      For a few days I was only seeing people saying that he cheated on his wife and when I saw he was fired I thought that seemed a bit extreme. Didn’t see it was with an employee until like two days later and was like wow, that is a buried lede yes he should be fired.

      Also I still don’t really know who these guys are or how my entire twitter feed has been so obsessed with this story for so many days in a row lol. It seems worth a like maybe a day and a half worth’s of memes at most.

      1. Becca*

        Well, I don’t really follow them and have only seen a few videos (most of them collaborations with people I do follow) but apparently his persona was a family man, that was the part he played in their videos so to speak, so I think even cheating with a non employee would have implications for his ability to effectively do his job in a way it might not otherwise.

        1. Lydia*

          I think it would have changed it a little bit if the person hadn’t been an employee, but yes. There has been a lot of discussion around how the firing was more because of the brand and less because of who he had an affair with.

    9. Zeus*

      Just wanted to say thank you for this comment – I’ve been avoiding the drama, but there have been so many memes about “consensual workplace relationships” over the last few days and I had no idea where they came from! So thanks for explaining :)

  2. Person from the Resume*

    For LW1 / the Try Guys, I have no details. I didn’t even know the employee was a producer until this letter, but that makes me think she’s fairly high in their management. Not that she higher up than the owner/star/talent (cause that what those guys are) and couldn’t be coerced, but assuming she wasn’t it makes you question her judgement and ability to be a manger if she engaged in a consensual relationship (which is why the Try/wife guy said publicly).

    I don’t know if they fired her, but if they did would they announce it? The company has to make an announcement about a star/talent/owner leaving; the announcement of his departure is what broke the story. You shouldn’t really talk much about firing employees or make a public announcement about it except in very rare cases.

    But I also imagine it’s super uncomfortable for her to continue working there now. There’s a good chance she’ll choose to leave on her own.

    1. time_ebbs*

      She also starred in “Food Babies” on the Try Guys channel in addition to the production work she did. I’m sure we’ll find out more details based on what they do with that show (cancel it, recast her, etc) than we would if her only work was behind the scenes stuff.

      The situation really isn’t great given the power dynamics but at least the publicity draws attention to how that type of behavior isn’t acceptable in the work place (the power dynamics aspect; cheating is a separate thing and not really as relevant).

      1. Artemesia*

        Never has this column made me feel more irrelevant and out of the zeitgeist than this one; I have literally never heard of Try Guys or Food Babies. Not that I don’t know a lot about them, but have never heard of them.

        1. Language Lover*

          Apparently, they’ve been around for a while. I stumbled onto one of their videos about a month ago and watched a few more after that first one.

          I hadn’t heard of them before then either, but that random bit of luck prepared me when I started seeing advertisements for their Food Network Show and now the big scandal.

          1. gyratory_circus*

            They started off on Buzzfeed ages ago and then spun off onto their own company. I’m not familiar with their content from the last year or two but they used to put out some pretty good/informative content back in the day. For example, they did at least 3 YouTube videos demonstrating all of them trying to drive a test course while drunk/high/sleep deprived, and how easy it was to overestimate your abilities. So while the was a lot of fluff, there was also educational/informational stuff as well.

            1. EmmaPoet*

              They did an interesting one on driving while distracted, IRRC. Ned tested with the highest level of focus, but did the worst. And there were kittens.

        2. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

          I’m with you, Artemesia. I never heard of them till now. So you’re not the only one!

        3. Tulipa*

          But you’re pretty old, right? I wouldn’t expect you to know them, you’re not the target demographic for their channel. You probably have lots of cultural reference points I’ve never heard of too!

          1. londonedit*

            I’m 40 and I’ve never heard of any of these people, but I suppose I’m also ‘pretty old’! Also based in the UK and I don’t know whether this is all more of a US thing.

            1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

              I’m 40 and in the US and I’ve never heard of them either. If not knowing some YouTube group makes me old, so be it. My kids watch that stuff and I find all of them super annoying.

              1. ScruffyInternHerder*

                ::shudders::

                So much “bruh” and so much random screaming and shouting on every single Youtube channel my teen prefers. I immediately either leave the room or tell teen boy to turn it waaaaay down. Slightly neurospicy Mom cannot and will not deal.

                1. Starbuck*

                  Oh, they’re definitely not *that* kind of YouTubers – I’m 30 and all my online friends of a similar age have at least heard of these guys. I’ve seen several of their videos but wasn’t a regular watcher.

            2. Myrin*

              Artemesia is over 70 (probably closer to 80 now IIRC, though please correct me if I’m wrong!), which I’m assuming is what Tulipa’s referring to – which is still a big difference compared to 40. I don’t know the Try Guys beyond occasionally hearing the name via Youtube recommendation, though, so I couldn’t tell you whether 40 year olds or 80 year olds, or both, or neither are their target audience.

            1. Artemesia*

              I am not insulted. Age matters in these things and I remember feeling superior to the Olds about being in the know when I was a Young. Now I find it amusing to be suddenly clueless about matters cultural. I am flying business class to Paris today, though, so there are some compensations for being old and retired.

              1. Luna*

                “I am flying business class to Paris today, though, so there are some compensations for being old and retired.”

                Hahahahaha! Yes, ma’am! You are correct. :) Enjoy your trip.

          2. Someone, I Guess*

            I’m 28 and I’ve literally never heard of these people. Thought I’d get a bit further before getting called “pretty old”!

            1. Lydia*

              There’s a really interesting cross-section of people who did and did not know who they were. I’m 48 and have know about them for a few years, but a lot of people I follow on Twitter my age and younger have no idea who they are.

          3. MCMonkeyBean*

            What is pretty old? I’m 32, very firmly millennial which is what the internet is telling me was their target demographic when they first started making videos.

        4. Ed123*

          I’ve been super invested in this. Normally, I have a casual interest in celeb gossip but this came at a perfect time that I’ve needed useless distraction and I’ve followed them since their Buzzfeed days. It kinda makes me laugh on how this has really peaked my interest and I’ve been reading about the whole thing unfolding on Reddit.

        5. Falling Diphthong*

          I am out of the zeitgeist on this one too, and fine to stay here.

          The crystal flute thing toddled across my field of view and I was like “Man. I did not have that on my bingo card for ’22.”

          1. Artemesia*

            I only know about that one because my daughter went to the show with a friend of hers in DC while she was there on a business trip. Apparently it was a fabulous show.

          2. Petty Betty*

            I was excited for the flute. But, I have always loved musical instruments. I was so happy for Lizzo getting to play such a unique instrument.

        6. time_ebbs*

          Per Slate, 80% of their subscribers are women & “the age demographic skews young, particularly women in their late teens and early 20s”.

          I remember them from their Buzzfeed days (2014-18) when Buzzfeed was really dominating video content with all their various groups. Several have spun out to do their own independent thing, like the Try Guys, but I haven’t really kept up with most of them. While I had seen some of their newer content, I didn’t quite realize how much of their content production had shifted to producing their entire lives (like all of the wives/partners have a podcast together, the wife who was cheated on had made her previous pregnancy a show, etc) for YouTube.

          I can’t imagine how you make all of that content and not end up as a super enmeshed workplace like Alison warns about. The impact of this on the entire office must be intense.

        7. Autumnheart*

          I know who they are because I’m a sucker for all those “Canadians Try Japanese Snacks” type videos, of which there were a ton on YouTube (still are) and which inspired the Try Guys in the first place.

          I myself like the Try Channel (Irish) which also went through a couple instances of drama, where they had to drop a regular personality because of inappropriate behavior.

      2. Akili*

        The other half of Food Babies (YB) has unfollowed Alex on social media, said she didn’t know about the affair, and seems generally disgusted by it all. So I assume Food Babies is done. Also they seem to be scrubbing Ned and Alex from the channel – but I heard that through the rumor mill (and YB stating that they’re removing her work – she’s a video editor for the team).

        1. Sylvan*

          YB’s also being harassed by people who mistakenly think she was Ned’s affair partner, because she was more well-known than Alex until this week.

        2. TypityTypeType*

          Wow. So it looks like that’s at least one person with a successful streaming career that’s been damaged by this business. And the Try Guys themselves were beginning a shot at the non-Internet mainstream with their Food Network show — and now it’s not even clear if the rest of the season will air.

          Just another rotten aspect of at-work affairs: the uninvolved parties who get caught up in the wreckage.

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            I honestly think that is the true shame here. Sounds like the collateral damage here is going to hit a lot of other unaffected people, possibly ending with innocent bystanders out of a job because things will get canceled. Hoping those affected by the fallout are able to continue their careers in other opportunities.

            Honestly I’d never heard of any of them till this column, not really my type of show. But to each their own.

    2. BB8Ball*

      There’s been no official statement about Alex by the TryGuys, but it’s suspected that she’s still working there because she’s still listed as an employee on their socials, while Ned isn’t.

      It’ll be noticeable soon enough. Alex, like a lot of the producers, was regularly on camera. They’re actually deleting some videos that she and Ned were in together (including the video where she tried on wedding dresses for her upcoming wedding that is no longer happening *cringe*).

      I don’t see how she continues in that work space. Everyone there is so enmeshed, and often on camera (including Ned’s wife), that it has to be so awkward at the office right now! I don’t think they’ll fire her, but I bet she’ll quietly walk away soon enough. I don’t know how anyone would be able to emotionally continue in that scenario.

      Like a lot of other readers, my mind immediately went to AAM and how this must be a management nightmare, when I first heard the news.

    3. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      I can’t imagine how Alex could continue working there. They’re a small company, they’ve known each other for years, and she cheated with her boss, whose wife is also on camera!

      1. The Original K.*

        Right – like, even if she weren’t fired, would she *want* to continue working there when everyone knows that about her? I wouldn’t. It’s not like she works at Deloitte where she could transfer to a team or office that doesn’t know her.

      2. Ally McBeal*

        I imagine she’ll try to find a new job as soon as all of this blows over (in terms of public attention). I wouldn’t stay, either – both because of how small & tightknit the company is AND for the bad memories… or good memories that have turned sour now that everything is over.

    4. Allison in Wonderland*

      In video/audio/media jobs, a producer doesn’t mean you are high up in the management. It can be a fairly entry-level or mid-level position. I don’t know the details of this situation at all, but just pointing that out. It’s not the same thing as someone “producing” a movie.

    5. Mrs Doubtful*

      I think people are confusing their need for accountability with their desire for gossip.
      They have to explain to their audience why one of their original four employees/owners is no longer appearing in videos. They have no such obligation for a producer. Whatever happens should happen in private, like any other workplace.

      1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

        Totally agree. This is already a painful and awkward situation. Despite our para-social relationship with the company, we (the collective internet audience) need to respect their privacy and stay out of it.

  3. The Prettiest Curse*

    #3, networking stats – can we do an entirely non-scientific straw poll on whether networking has ever landed you a job? I applied for all the permanent jobs that I’ve ever had, except for one that I got through a recruitment agency.

    1. talos*

      I’ve gotten:
      – an internship from a college career fair
      – a full-time job as a conversion from that internship
      – a full-time job from a (not already connected to me) in-house recruiter cold-emailing me on LinkedIn
      – I’ve also had various other offers I’ve turned down, gotten either from career fairs or by engaging people who have contacted me on LinkedIn – never anything but those two approaches

      So none of those are by applying to an ad. But also, none of those are purely from my existing network or a recruiting service. They’re all from the _act_ of networking, as opposed to my existing network.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        Interesting…I would have counted career fairs as ads that I apply to in person. I have one of those on my resume, so count it as you will.

      2. Anonym*

        Some of mine were definitely because of who I knew to an extent.
        – My first “career” job after doing a combo of retail and random front desk jobs to get through school was because my mom knew someone who was hiring for an assistant in government and having trouble sourcing candidates. She asked if I’d be willing to help the person out and I jumped at it (and the nearly doubled income). I assume the mom reference influenced the hiring choice, although the manager was desperate.
        – The second one I would not have even thought to apply to except a distant relative who worked there encouraged me to look (I wasn’t even considering the industry). And I found out years after being hired that the manager only gave my resume a second look because of that relative, who was an executive assistant to someone important! I did stay for almost a decade, though, so it was a good fit.
        – My current job was an internal transfer, and I found out about the posting through a mentor. The hiring manager was actively seeking internal candidates from my old function, so I think it was more that I was already in the department she wanted to poach from. However, the job description they had posted was such a mess I wouldn’t have applied based on it, even though I was looking actively. The hiring manager basically told my mentor, “the posting is wrong, here’s what we’re actually looking for” and he told me. So I think in this case I was persuaded by the connection, rather than the hiring manager, kind of the opposite of what you’d assume. (And yes, that weird mismanaged hiring process DID turn out to be an early warning of dysfunction!! :( )

        1. Anonym*

          Sorry, the TL;DR is that maybe 60% of my jobs have had a network component, but for some the influence went in the opposite direction of what one would assume.

        2. Sparkles McFadden*

          This is very similar to my work history:

          Job during high school – Person in the job said “Hey, I’m quitting soon. You’d be good here.” They interviewed me and I got the job.

          Jobs during college – One job via the student employment office, another because someone said “The place I am working asked if I know someone who knows [enter now semi-obsolete software here] so do you want the job?”

          1st job post-college – I was waiting outside of a building prior to an interview and was spotted by a family friend. When I said I was going to an interview, this person said “When you’re done, come find me because we just posted a new position today.” That’s the job I got.

          2nd job – A relative was asked if he could find his own replacement before he left. He said “Do you care if it’s my relative?” I interviewed and was hired

          I moved to other positions within that in that company until I retired.

          I have always been amazed at the “luck factor” in all of that.

        3. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

          Yeah, knowing someone was key in a lot of my job search, but it hardly landed me the job or was the sole reason I was hired. I certainly still had to apply. And even the people I knew who helped me weren’t “networking” situations as I understand it. They were friends or relatives or a former internship boss (for an internship I got purely from applying for an ad).

          The statistic still seems unreasonably high, but even if it were true, you couldn’t say it was due to networking rather than applying to an ad, but rather that networking or knowing somebody was a component. Even then, sometimes that component is just them merely alerting you to the opportunity rather than someone talking you up.

        4. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

          Yeah, but this is not networking as it is often pitched by people at these events (or at my law school. You didn’t go out and meet your mother in order to get an edge into the job market. She is your mom. She probably knew the person hiring through a social relationship that was not about trying to get you a job. Plus it is retail, and they often hire people who walk in and fill out an application. And same goes for your distant relative. It wasn’t a case of you schmoozing, going to professional association events, and trying to set up informational interviews. I would say that this is less networking and more just knowing people and having relationships, like any normal person would. And honestly, you never really know what person will connect you to an opportunity. I think most people who get jobs through someone they know are people who had and developed firm relationships as family or friends or even colleagues without an eye to trying to get ahead professionally. After all, the ones you develop in order to try to get ahead professional, at least if you are on the lower level and not one of the C Suite team, are often superficial, awkward, and a bit fake.

          Then again, I might just still be annoyed about all the BS networking tips they gave us in law school. Which, now that I am older and well into my career, I know would never work for most people!

          1. No Longer Looking*

            Conversely, I’d say that you are being sold a bill of goods about what networking actually IS. If you’re just “schmoozing, going to professional association events, and trying to set up informational interviews” and not developing ongoing conversational relationships where someone might randomly think of you and reach out to you with a tip, then you aren’t actually creating a network. Rather you are info-gathering.

            Info-gathering is a useful tool to have in your quiver, but confusing your info contacts with having a successful network will do you no favors.

      3. Ann Nonymous*

        I’m 59 and have had many, many jobs. I think I’ve gotten a single one of those jobs through applying; every other one was through connections. A few years ago I applied for numerous jobs the traditional way for prestigious employers, several of which had requirements that my resume neatly duplicated in experience….I never got a single interview and only one of the companies bothered to ever respond (rejection letter). So disheartening. Fortunately I know a lot of people and they know my competence, so I’ve been fully employed in the last several years.

    2. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life*

      4 of my 5 jobs were from applying to ads! I was recruited by a former boss to the 5th job. A friend recently shocked me with the revelation that they have gotten all their 3 jobs by referrals, they’ve never applied to a job!

    3. Beckabeeboo*

      I got 1 (of my 4 total) full-time jobs over the last 15 years via just networking. And it was by far the most toxic, unhealthy work environment I’ve ever experienced. Had I gone the traditional applying and interviewing route, I likely would have seen the mountain of red flags.

      1. pinetree*

        I’ll second that the 1 job I’ve gotten through networking (out of 4) ended up being my least favorite. I trusted my contact at the company more than I should have.

      2. Marketing Unicorn Ninja*

        Same! I got one job in my 20+ year career from networking and it was the most dysfunctional, effed up place I’ve ever worked.

    4. Goldie*

      My first job out of college I got directly from an internship. My internship supervisor recommended me. 20 years later I was offered a job a lunch with a friends. My current job was greatly helped from networking. 3 out of 7 jobs post college (29 years). Less than the statistic quoted though.

    5. AcademiaNut*

      Yes – first postdocs in academia often come through your supervisor’s connections. I still had to formally apply, however, it just gave me a boost. My husband was ‘invited to apply’ for a job. It was still a formal application with a competitive process, short list and full interview, but it helps to start out knowing you’re a competitive candidate.

      I wonder if the people quoting these numbers include things like internal promotions and job opportunities. I’ve had another case where I changed job categories with the same employer, which was not a formally advertised position.

      1. Cece*

        Same here, I had a small postdoc that came from a network, and it then turned into a permanent faculty position in the same department but there was no formal application process. It’s either a job with no interview, or was an interview that lasted four years…

    6. Emma*

      I have my current job because of networking, and so do several of my coworkers. It was like “hey, I worked with this person before and they’re great, let’s hire them.” My employee has referred two additional people since she started less than a year ago. When it comes to corporate jobs, networking DEFINITELY helps. 84% seems wildly inflated, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 40-50% is true.

      1. KelseyCorvo*

        So many people hear networking and imagine awkward social gatherings where they’re trying to push people to consider hiring them, but your example is what I think of as true networking. It’s just being known for being good at what you do and nurturing relationships. The second part is where many lose out. Keep in touch with people, people. It’s likely to make a difference when you need help, or even when you don’t.

      2. Smithy*

        I do also think that because of how networking works in different fields – that it’s likely easy to “round up” what jobs via networking means. Of my last 4 jobs, I got all from see an add and applying. However, the last job – I knew the hiring manager – so I reached out and asked her about the position before applying and I know that helped my overall candidacy and also made me feel better about applying and the job in general.

        Recently, a friend/former colleague applied to a job on a team I used to work for and twice I reached out to the VP of that team in support of her candidacy. Also, recent job post for my current team where I knew the listed low end of the salary (and no listed high end), would discourage certain people from applying. So again, someone I knew who was interested – we were able to discuss that she shouldn’t be put off by the low number but also what was feasible on the higher end.

        In all of these cases, everyone applied via the ads and went through the traditional process but were able to engage different forms of networking. So I think why that 84% likely *feels* correct to people’s ears is they’ve been in or seen hiring processes where the person who does get the position is an internal candidate or former colleague of someone on the team.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          That’s a good point: if you apply to an ad and also get a referral, does that count as networking? What if a former colleague works there but you didn’t know; they might see your name give your application a boost without you knowing.

          Alternately, what about ads that not everyone sees, such as ads sent to a particular university department or professional group? Does it count as networking if your connections are to an institution rather than an individual?

          1. Smithy*

            Yeah…this is in no way to dismiss the work researchers do in operationalizing how they define terms and can collect data from ambiguous spaces. But I think a huge reality is that people struggling with the job market can be uniquely vulnerable to hearing over simplifications or shortcuts.

            Because of that vulnerability, they can be preyed upon to purchase resume writing services or job coaching with the whispers that it offers bespoke access to those shortcuts. So I do get the perspective of trusted/reputable voices in this space (like AAM) to challenge those statistics from the perspective that this hidden job market doesn’t exist.

            However – and just one example – the recent job ad on my team posted the lowest salary of the pay band and mentioned room to negotiate. Because of listing only the low number, it already depressed the candidate pool. And because of not listing how high you could negotiate, some strong candidates took themselves out of the running because their desired number was *way* too high. I’m not the hiring manager, but knew enough to share what someone in my network could reasonably ask for and who to make that ask of (i.e. not during the HR screening but directly to the hiring manager). This was a job widely advertised, but by the time the final interviews happened – the person who had a networking connection was coming in significantly stronger than the other candidates.

        2. All Het Up About It*

          Yep.
          Networking only came into play in 1 out of my 5 full time jobs (4 of which I consider true career positions post grad school). An old classmate and friend knew I was looking and shared an open position on one of her teams. They set up coffee for us before hand and the hiring manager then encouraged me to apply. But I still had to interview and do a skills test.

          Networking helped make sure I went basically straight to the short list, but it wasn’t a case where my friend said “Hire this person” and I got the job. So even if we get more accurate stats, they are kind of fuzzy, when it comes to what exact role networking has for people.

          1. Smithy*

            I’ll also add the flip side to this….because of networking, there have been jobs I’ve been asked to apply for or even offered and declined because I knew they’d be bad jobs…..

            Didn’t mean I always ended up somewhere amazing, but it’s also part of this larger story.

    7. learnedthehardway*

      I was headhunted for 2 roles I had (based on someone doing research into the industry and approaching me without any referrals), applied for 3 (2 to job ads, the other by approaching the company because I knew the industry players and who to approach).

      More of the consulting work I have done has been by referrals or networking, although in some cases, I have applied for contract opportunities and in others, I have researched the companies to figure out who to approach.

    8. JR*

      One from answering an ad (via on campus recruiting in grad school), two from networking, one somewhere in between (but there was an ad posted, so I guess two and two).

    9. Two Chairs, One to Go*

      I got my last 2 jobs through networking! One network was with a coworker from a job I cold applied to. The other was through targeted relationship building and upskilling.

    10. turquoisecow*

      I got my first full-time job because I went to a job fair – I worked for the company part time in a retail role and went to an internal job fair for people looking to advance. I guess that counts as networking, sort of?

      After that company went out of business I got another job when a coworker interviewed for a job and didn’t think it was right for her but recommended it to me. (It turned out not right for me either and I left after a few months.)

      I got my current job when an old boss from that first job, now working at a similar company, messaged me on LinkedIn to see if I wanted a job working with her.

      So I guess networking has sort of worked for me? I have gotten a few other jobs by applying and interviewing but I haven’t stayed in them as long for various reasons.

    11. NetworkNope*

      I got a job purely through networking once, and it was a genuinely terrible fit in ways that would have been obvious in a real interview process, but did not become clear to them or to me in the ten minute phone call we had about the role and why our mutual friend thought I would be great at it. Things went quite badly.

      Now, much later in my career, I would never consider a job that did not thoroughly vet me and want me to thoroughly vet them through an intentional and equitable process. And as a hiring manager myself, I would hate to miss out on great talent and limit the diversity on my team by factoring in connections in any way.

      So put me down for—landed job, hated job, bailed on job. Do not recommend.

    12. Caitlin*

      I’ve got two jobs from networking!

      The first one was while I was interning, we were providing training to a large organisation, and I got chatting to one of the senior managers there who had some work on his team that needed doing. I ended up working there part time(2 days a week) during university for two years.

      The second, I signed up for a mentoring program and after it ended my mentor offered me a short term contract organising an event for her org (she was the ED of a small NFP), which then turned into a longer term role doing work more in line with the career I wanted. Only lasted a year because the org lost funding and had to lay off all their staff…

      Tbh, I’ve only ever got one role (my current) through a formal interview and application process.

    13. Decidedly Me*

      All mine through ads or other non-networking methods.

      I’d say about 20-30% of our hires are referrals, though.

    14. Rosyglasses*

      My first jobs in high school and college were applying via job ads.

      My first two professional jobs were from ads.

      My subsequent three-four jobs were all from people I knew (including my current one where I have been for several years).

    15. Emmy Noether*

      I got a few internships through family when I was a student and got my doctorate position by staying where I did my masters. Was offered a postdoc through network but went another direction.

      Two other internships by applying normally. My jobs after uni (2 full-time positions) were through applying to job ads. Actually, both of those companies don’t take people through pure networking. There are referrals, but those still have to submit their materials and go through the full interview process the same as everyone else. I don’t count that as networking.

    16. Bowserkitty*

      I had to formally apply for it, but one of my jobs was absolutely attained from networking. I still remember being so grateful to my friend for the assist but she said “no, I just hope it works out for YOU” because apparently they had a bit of a reputation, but I was also in a very tough spot and desperately in need of work.

      They “mutually” let me go 9 months later when it didn’t work out. -_-

    17. Sambal*

      60% of my jobs have come through networking, although I think that’s because I didn’t know how to apply to jobs before Ask a Manager (seriously, thank you for the work you do, Alison).

      However, I was chatting with my friend recently who does a lot of hiring. She told me she only hires through networking and/or recruiters. That really took me by surprise. She said she works in such a niche industry she pretty much knows all the players in our region. Anyone new to the industry needs extensive training, so she finds it a waste of time to dig through resumes when what she’s looking for is willingness to learn and good soft skills.

      So networking does absolutely matter, but your mileage by vary depending on your industry and/or location.

    18. Language Lover*

      Sort of. I applied for a job and learned that someone I went to school with got that job (internal transfer). She told me her current job would soon open and recommended it. I still had to apply, but I think her vouching for me, even though we’d never worked together, made it a sure thing.

      Another factor was they had some bad history with previous people in the position, so they just wanted someone who wouldn’t bring drama and could do the job.

    19. PGH*

      former colleagues refer me to a lot of people, mostly as their friends start new businesses so they never want to pay as much as an actual person with actual skills and experience wants to be paid so they’re always non-starters but it’s nice of them to try. Every job i’ve gottn as an adult has either been via a recruiter contacting me about a specific role or me cold calling the company and talking to the sales or operations manager.

    20. Tired Night Owl*

      Two high school jobs via applications.

      Three family/church referrals for shorter term jobs in my early career.

      A couple I found via job boards.

      Then recruited by a former manager.

      Then a job board again, twice.

      Then networked during the 2008 nightmare.

      Then a job board landed me a job that lasted 10+ years with two promotions over time.

      Then recruited by a former boss.

      I’m back to the job boards now.

      So about half and half?

    21. Warrior Princess Xena*

      Technically, I got my current job by applying to ads. However, I was applying while enrolled in a college program that the firms in my area will recruit heavily from – it’s an annual program that consistently turns out great graduates. I got into the program by getting my undergrad in the same college (though I did do quite well in that undergrad program).

      So while not traditional networking per se, I hesitate to say that I got the job just through ads because there was definitely some network help built into there

    22. Plumbum*

      I got the interview for my first ever office job through having been neighbours with the site manager.
      The next job I was contacted for an interview by a recruitment agent (who had my details because I’d applied to other jobs through their company’s online portal).
      The remaining 2 were simple online applications.

    23. Just Another Starving Artist*

      People still tend to have to apply for jobs they get via networking. Often it’s not “I know you, here’s a job,” but rather “I know you’re looking for something, apply here and I’ll put in a good word for you,” or someone doing hiring looks at resumes and goes “Oh! I know this person, they’re good to work with,” or even just hearing about things through an alumni message board. Networking’s about information and a leg up, it’s not automatic.

      1. Emmy Noether*

        I think it depends. In my current company, a referral is just one data point and will give a tiny leg up. They still go in the same applicant pool as everyone else and have to do the same real interviews.

        I’ve also seen network hiring where the person is the only one interviewed, pro forma, and they’d have to be really, really bad to not get the job. And hiring where there’s no interview at all, you just get handed a job (for internships, mostly).

    24. nnn*

      Has never happened for me. I’ve never in my life been in a situation where someone I knew could help me land a job.

      I got all my jobs either through ads, or through other established system. (e.g. I got an internship from a centralized website advertising internships, and they hired me when I graduated.)

    25. philmar*

      Almost all of them. right after college my mother worked for an organization my future boss was heavily involved in.

      I got a job at Hollister despite not looking like their brand AT ALL because I went to the same college as the manager. I literally was not pretty enough to work on the floor so I doubt I would have been hired otherwise (and he was hyped about it, like omg! that’s awesome! how do you like (etc) which makes me think it really did factor in).

      For my current job, I got letters of recommendation from former colleagues of my father. And my advancement isn’t networking based, but the more people I work for/get a reputation with, the more likely I am to be promoted.

    26. Anon in Aotearoa*

      I got my first ever job through an application, without knowing anyone. Every single job since then, over 25 years, I’ve got through people I knew. I’ve still had to go through interviews for all of the permanent positions.

      I’m now a freelance consultant and all of my work comes through referrals or repeat business from previous clients. So that’s one anecdote saying that your network does help.

      It’s worth saying, though, that this isn’t through official “networking”. It’s just people who have worked with me before. Which isn’t something that a middleman can commoditise and monetise.

      1. KelseyCorvo*

        “It’s worth saying, though, that this isn’t through official “networking”. It’s just people who have worked with me before.”

        But that is networking.

        1. No Longer Looking*

          +1 to KelseyCorvo. I’m being really confused by the number of people who read this site who think that this is NOT the very definition of networking.

          My work history has been half and half, but also a lot of my early “career” was long-term contracts and temp jobs. Once I decided to get out of that scene I used one of my agencies to find me a permanent position where I stayed for ten years.

          I found my current position in industry-specific want ads – but a couple of my prior coworkers had previously worked for my current employer. I asked them for their opinion on the company before applying, and found out later that one of them reached out on my behalf after I applied. So – networking didn’t bring that job to me, but almost certainly helped me land it.

    27. Ina+Lummick*

      I’d probably my current one….kinda? I was an internal hire, and had worked before with my now manager in aspects of my job (onboarding new people to CRM and user testing the customer service module (that we no longer use)

    28. Teekanne aus Schokolade*

      (most of these were temp contracts of a year or so designed for international workers as I moved around the world a lot in my early career)
      -international internship that was a mix of application and who I knew (Mongolia)
      -college job offered me by a friend (US)
      -college job ad (US)
      -teaching Job thanks to uni program ( China)
      -teaching Job ad (Germany)
      -teaching Job networking (offered by friend) (US)
      -teaching Job ad (Germany)
      -recruiting job that was ad and networking once I applied (US)
      -editorial job networking (US)
      -editorial job ad (Germany)
      -editorial Job Networking (Germany)
      -editorial Job ad (Germany)
      so 7/12 were either straight networking or a mix thereof once I’d applied :)

    29. Been There*

      I’ve applied for all my jobs, but got one of them because I was a known entity and didn’t need (as much) training to get started.

    30. Jules the First*

      Every good job I’ve ever had came to me. Every crap job I’ve ever had, I applied for. Lesson: I suck at choosing jobs for myself.

      My current job called me for a chat because their network said I was the person they needed. Ditto my previous job. We met a couple of times to sound out how we felt about eachother and negotiate terms, but it wasn’t a competitive interview process by any means. Five years in, I still don’t know who it was that got me this job…I wish I did, because I’d send a case of bubbles by way of thanks.

      But what I do is pretty niche, so probably not very widely applicable. By way of contrast, in the team of 15 that I manage, I’ve made two of those hires through my network and the rest have been traditional applications.

    31. Other Alice*

      Ooh, 2 out of 5 for me. I had an internship that didn’t work out but a coworker recommended me to a different company and I stayed there 4 years. And my current job is a rec from someone I went to school with. As another data point, the jobs I got from answering ads tended to be much crappier and I had shorter stays.

    32. londonedit*

      I guess I got my current job by ‘networking’, but what actually happened was that I was already in the company doing a maternity cover contract, and then a similar permanent job came up and my then-boss alerted me to it, so I had an informal interview and ‘came back’ to start that job a couple of months after the maternity contract ended. Apart from that I’ve always applied for all the permanent jobs I’ve had. When I was freelancing it was slightly different and I did get a couple of bits and pieces through people I knew who suggested me to their colleagues, but in terms of actual permanent jobs I’ve always just seen a job advert and applied for it.

    33. Editor emeritus*

      ‘Networking’ has always seemed like a fuzzy word to me. I think of the course of my career as ‘seizing opportunities to do interesting things.’ It didn’t always work out, but it served me pretty well.

      Of all the full-time professional jobs that I’ve had, I got one through what might be called networking. (That’s 1 out of 9, I’m not counting temp jobs). Shortly after we moved from the US to the UK, I emailed the director in the UK division of the US company I worked for. He happened to be looking for someone to cover for maternity leave.

      Others have been ads or temp-to perm. Ads have included those placed by recruiters in newspapers (pre-internet) and online, in grad school newsletters, and directly by the hiring organisation. I had one job I loved which was a temp-to-perm position.

      For a long time I believed the ‘networking is the only way to get a job’ hype. There was one out-of-work period where I joined a ‘networking group’. I was a non-tech person in a tech-heavy area, and for what I did it was a small market. It was miserable. No one I spoke with understood what I did (‘communications’ meant something very different to tech people). The next job I got was through a temp recruiter. I became permanent, and I stayed there for 7.5 years.

    34. bamcheeks*

      I really dislike the “through networking / ads” dichotomy. It’s not a hard distinction! “I wanted to get into X, networked in that area and was advised that job ads are usually posted on the Llama society board” is networking AND ad. “I saw an ad for a job with Angels Inc, reached out to a couple of contacts who I knew worked there and used that info to craft an A++ cover letter” is networking AND ad. “Someone in my network tipped me off that Y was being advertised and that it would be perfect for me and I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise” is networking AND ad. I’ve got jobs through all three of those.

      I think it gives people a really bad idea of networking actually is — people think networking is when someone magically gets you a job without having to apply for it, or that there’s this secret stash of jobs that you will get hooked up to if only you somehow say the right words. And for some people who are relatively naive and unsupported in the job market, they miss the *actual* useful function of networking, which is to know the right places to look for jobs, have people looking out jobs that might suit you that you might not see yourself, and to have conversations that mean you’ve got a good understand of what they’re looking for and whether it’ll suit you. Most of the time, though, good networking is what helps you find and apply for jobs successfully through the very boring and traditional “a job was advertised, I wrote a cover letter and a CV, sent it to them and then they interviewed me” route.

      Got a Saturday job as a teenager because your aunt saw a card in the newsagent’s window and said, “ooh, that’d suit our John, I’ll mention it to Carol to pass on”? That’s networking!

      1. Electricpants*

        I love this comment, and it reminded me that networking also helps decide which jobs *not* to apply for.

      2. alienor*

        I think people take “networking” to mean going to networking events and pitching yourself to strangers, which I guess is one way, but a.) the subset of people who are both good at and willing to do that sort of thing is small, and b.) I wouldn’t recommend someone for a job based on a meeting at a cocktail hour, even if I’d really hit it off with them, because I don’t know how they are at work. Some of the worst coworkers I’ve had have been superficially funny and charming and popular, but unreliable or impractical or just straight up incompetent from day to day.

        The kind of networking that I think is effective comes from actually working with people and letting them see that you’re good at what you do. I’ve had several opportunities that came to me that way through former coworkers or managers. But, most of the jobs where I’ve ended up getting and/or accepting an offer have been from cold applying or from being contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn, so it’s not the be-all and end-all either.

        1. The Prettiest Curse*

          Yes, I agree that people often have a really specific (and rigid) definition of networking. For me, if you hear about a job vacancy through a contact and go through the normal application process, networking still helped you get the job

      3. wordswords*

        Yes, 100% agreed! This is a great comment.

        I got my current job through networking, in that it was a company I knew about because they came to networking events at my grad school and then, when I wasn’t sure based on that if they’d be a good place to work for or a start-up-y place that wouldn’t suit me at all, I had a good friend at the company to ask. But I applied and did a skills test and got interviewed the normal way. Networking didn’t let me skip any steps, it just put an option on my radar and have me an avenue for learning more about it.

      4. Lily Rowan*

        Totally. The one professional job I “got through networking” went like this — my mother had a friend who worked in a different department, who suggested I should apply for the job. I would not have applied otherwise, as the posting read like the job was lower-level than I wanted. I interviewed to see what was up and keep all the connections warm (my mother/her friend, her friend/the person who ended up being my boss), and got the job on my own merits.

    35. askalice*

      I work in the arts – I don’t think I’ve ever got a job that hasn’t been related to networking. Either I personally know someone connected, or one of my referees has worked with new company, or I was recommended to them. Even in jobs where I applied through ads, the connections were valuable in actually landing the job.

      But that’s this industry, your reputation is your next gig.

    36. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Networking never got me a job. I got into both my major employers through temporary contract positions that weren’t ever supposed to be anything but short term, but in one the guy I was assisting on a project quit and I replaced him and in the other my temp manager referred me to a different internal department. (Then all my promotions were regular interview processes.)

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        I guess technically my temp manager referring me might have qualified as networking? but I still had to go through the whole interview process.

        1. Just Another Starving Artist*

          That definitely counts as networking. You got the referral through your network. Networking doesn’t automatically mean skipping interviews.

    37. Lady_Lessa*

      10 jobs in my general area of science, but 7 different subareas. Think teapot painting, but subsets of acrylic, metal, enamel etc.

      1 networking, a co-worker knew who was the person looking, and I got it, even though HR had screened my resume out.

      2 when companies were bought out, and needed relocation

      1 via a very good recruiter. (He had trouble selling me the last time due to my age)

      The rest via ads.

    38. Asenath*

      I got my first summer job as a high school student, not through networking exactly, but because the boss said to my father (who would never have asked) “I guess it’s Asenath’s turn this summer”. Small town, one big employer who hired a lot of summer help, and I suppose naturally, the students who were related to/known by the employees in a particular department tended to get summer jobs there. Everyone was known by and usually related to someone in one of the departments. Every other job I ever got, I applied for in response to an ad. One of them turned out to be for someone I’d known before (and I got the job) but I didn’t know she was going to be my boss when I applied.

    39. alas rainy again*

      Fr me, I’d say 50%
      I had my current job through advertising (I was invited to look for the advertising, and the application process was daunting – public service!).
      1 internship, 1 academic job and 2 jobs were by networking (I was invited to apply, and the recruiting process appeared informal)
      1 consultancy contrat was by a recruiter, so did he networked me ?
      3 jobs were by advertising, though for one of them, they knew my name from another unsuccessful application.

    40. RabbitRabbit*

      My previous jobs were through ads, but at my most recent employer, I’ve done a few internal job transfers that were all networking-led. I did still have to apply and go through the formal interviewing process in the latter cases.

    41. anonymous loser*

      Jobs during high school and college – networking (either for company where one of parents was co-owner or paid gigs for the place where I was volunteering).
      First job out of college – networking (a professor I had worked together in that volunteer job had been asked to suggest someone).
      Next job – networking (as my husband’s TA).
      Next job – networking (husband’s ex-boss hired me).
      Next job – partly networking (in the school that my children attended, but I had to turn in official documents this time at least; but the people who hired me did know me previously).
      Current job – it started with an ad for courses that turned into an internship that turned into a job.

      I have never had a real job interview in my 40+ years of life. :( OK, I have also been part SAHM a big part of it.

    42. Cat Tree*

      There was one case where I interviewed for a certain position, but then there was a re-org. The hiring manager still wanted me to work for her so she offered me a very different position that was still in her department. So I guess technically I got that job without applying to that specific position? Maybe it counts as networking because that hiring manager was part of my network as soon as I interviewed for the first position? Feels like a stretch though.

    43. Snow Globe*

      My current job was networking. Someone in my network made a LinkedIn post about an opening, and I texted her about it, and ended up with the position.

      One of the things I’ve heard repeated is that 80% of the jobs aren’t even advertised, and that is clearly completely not true. Even when people get jobs through networking, the jobs are most likely still posted. In any large company, it would be next to impossible to hire without having an official open position, with HR to manage the process.

    44. Somebody Call a Lawyer*

      Fwiw, I got my both my dream jobs at beloved entertainment media brands through my network. My connections were “weak ties” — one was the friend of a friend who heard I was a writer, but the other was a random potential employer who looked at my resume during the interview and said, “There’s no way being a tax accountant’s assistant is the job you really want to do. What do you *really* want to do?” And somehow, when I said, “Working at Company X,” he replied that one of his best friends worked in the finance department there and immediately ended the interview to put me in touch with him. Company X guy then set up an interview with a producer of one of my favorite annual TV shows who wasn’t hiring, but liked me enough to get me in front of the No. 2 person at the company. They ended up creating an entry-level job for me. That accountant unlocked my whole career!

    45. Less Bread More Taxes*

      This last job search three months ago, I applied for over a hundred jobs and got offered three, two of which were temp. The permanent job I got through a friend who worked there. So while I did get offers from jobs outside my network, they weren’t ones I wanted to take.

      Of all the professional jobs I’ve had (5 including internships), I only got one that wasn’t a referral or through my university. So for me, that ~80% rule is totally accurate.

    46. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      My first job as a Saturday girl at the bakery, it was my aunt who already worked there and put in a good word for me.
      My second job as a care assistant at the old people’s home (as it was called then), it was my BFF’s dad who recommended me for a community service programme run by my school, and then he and the Director of the place both recommended me to have a position after I left school.
      Third job as an au pair, I answered an ad in the paper.
      Then I had various teaching gigs, some from ad I posted on a board, then a lot more by word of mouth.
      Fourth proper job, a guy who barely knew me, recommended me to a school and I was hired as a teacher, then I started writing content for computer assisted language learning.
      Fifth job, that language school went bust but I was hired by one of their clients
      Sixth job at the translation agency, I answered an ad in the paper.
      Working as a freelancer, a majority of clients are people I already knew, who were clients at the agency but didn’t want to work with them if I was no longer there, and people I have met who happened to need a translator. Just a few have come via my LinkedIn profile and even fewer from various translator websites where I have a profile.
      So for salaried jobs, I see four out of six were thanks to connections, probably at least the same proportion for clients if not more.
      So less than 86%, but I reckon 66% is pretty high still.

      1. I should really pick a name*

        Though I applied for all of these jobs through the normal process, I just knew people at the company for the ones I considered networking

    47. Lightning McQueen*

      I have worked for 5 different companies in my career (the last one for 15 years). 2 of which were through networking. The first one, I probably would have gotten anyway as it was a retail job for Christmas but was the only one to be hired permanently so that may have helped that piece. The other one (the 15 year one) I definitely got because of networking.

    48. Johanna Cabal*

      I’ve had four jobs after graduating college (not counting the awful three month job that rightfully fired me). The first two I applied to a job posting online. My last two I found out about through my network. My current one even reached out to me.

      That said, I think that having a strong network required me to build up a good reputation in my field first. I’ll be honest, I felt like a networking failure because my first two jobs were from applying to a job ad. Networking definitely has its place but I think for individuals early in their career they need to realize it might take a few jobs to build that network.

    49. Seeking Second Childhood*

      How do they log it when you answer an ad & have a great interview–but when you meet the owner they like that you’re a graduate of their college?
      I know I was an excellent match for the job as advertised, but I’m sure the alumni connection clinched the deal.

      1. Less Bread More Taxes*

        I personally wouldn’t count that unless maaaaybe you both were part of the same sorority or fraternity. But even then, that’s a stretch.

    50. hbc*

      3/3 professional jobs from ads, 1/3 pre-college jobs. The networking ones aren’t really helpful for those looking to capital N Network–my neighbor (who I babysat for) got me something at his company for the summer completely unrelated to what I wanted to do long-term, and my parents worked at a place where only children of employees could have a summer job.

      As a hiring manager, I’ve hired about 1/60 positions based on networking/who-they-knew. Referrals were in the queue for a couple of positions, but they could have just as easily stumbled across the job posting on their own rather than through an employee.

    51. Chilipepper Attitude*

      I applied to ads and got hired for:
      – retail jobs in high school
      – work study and off campus jobs at university
      – first job after college
      – first job after we moved back to the US
      – first career change job
      – most awesome job after career change that I got in part due to my AAM skills

      Networking jobs I got:
      – student job as assistant to a prof in grad school (bc I was a student and the prof knew me, is that networking?)
      – teaching mommy and me at my son’s preschool (also, is that networking, they knew me and asked me to do it bc they were growing)
      – first teaching job at a private school (school reached out to its network and one was a professor where I was completing my degree, he recommended me and that got me my interview)

      Jobs I did not get:
      – community organizer job, the one I really wanted fresh out of uni! I had a skills based resume and she thought I had no work experience- but I did! Lesson learned.
      – admissions office job I really wanted at the local US university when I was changing careers. I applied and had a contact reach out, which got me an interview but no offer (my application did not initially make it out of HR, I listed what I thought was the required 10 years of job history but one job was part time so they rejected me)
      – doctor’s receptionist in a UK office, no networking and I got an interview but no offer
      – several other UK jobs, no networking, no interviews.

    52. A Penguin!*

      Let’s see.
      – high school retail job – in person paper application, no network
      – college retail job – family business working for my step-father; does that count as network?
      – college internship – mix networking/apply (applied normally, but family contact both pointed me to the possibility and I believe got my application moved toward the top of the pile)
      – 1st three professional jobs – normal application / no network
      – 4th professional job – pure networking / no application. interview was pro-forma
      – 5th professional job – normal application / no network
      – 6th professional job – hybrid network/job-listing
      – 7th (and so far best) professional job – pure networking / no application. but this one had a real interview
      – 8th (current) professional job – I think this classifies as networking. I applied for job A; they didn’t like me for the job I applied for, but (with my permission) passed my info to their contact at job B for a completely different job which I did get.

      Jobs 4, 6 and 7 were all from the same contact. He was a coworker at job 3, boss at 4, contact for 6 and grand-boss at 7. He’s also the 2nd-best boss I’ve ever had (1st was my direct boss at the job where he was grand-boss).

    53. WhatAmIDoing*

      I’ve gotten almost all of my jobs back to high school via networking, only 1 internship and 2 part time college jobs from ads. 10 jobs total? So I’m at 70% networked, and all of my full time professional work.

    54. BethDH*

      I don’t see this as an either/or! I’ve applied for every job I’ve ever had, but some degree of networking was there for most of them.
      Sometimes that was hearing about the job when it was only posted on the company’s website and not a job board. Sometimes it was college alumni network recruiting. Sometimes it was knowing someone who was already employed. Often as I got more advanced, one of my references would know the hiring manager or at least know of them, or I would have interacted with the hiring org at conferences.

      1. Less Bread More Taxes*

        “Sometimes that was hearing about the job when it was only posted on the company’s website and not a job board”

        I wouldn’t count this unless you were invited to apply for it.

    55. Hannah Lee*

      Out of 7 jobs I’ve gotten 4 were from just applying, and 3 were a result of my network. (2 people I’d previously worked with and 1 relative … none of those positions were advertised, and all 3 began as “Hey Hannah, I’ve got this short term problem I could use your help/skills on” and then turned into a completely different FT role (one that didn’t exist in the company before) after that initial project was done.

    56. Anon for This*

      It’s not an either/or. In my experience jobs get advertised, but those in the hiring manager’s network have a leg up. While the networked person often gets the job it’s not always, and talented outsiders can come in and blow away the interview panel.

      1. Less Bread More Taxes*

        I don’t think anyone is saying that that’s not how it works. When I say that networking got me a job, what I’m saying is that I may not have had an interview if I didn’t know someone. I still had to formally apply and interview along with every other applicant.

    57. Falling Diphthong*

      I love the precision of 84%. Not “upwards of half,” not “around 3/4”–it’s not 83, but 84!

      On networking success, I think it’s not unusual to receive a job offer somewhere you interned. So less “my sister’s girlfriend’s bowling team captain needed a programmer at her company” and more “we need a programmer–has anyone worked with someone who would be a good fit?” The first also happens, and is one reason having a variety of connections can help you; it’s just not anywhere near 84%.

    58. JustMyImagination*

      I got most of my jobs from networking:
      Job 1: Went to an event put on by my college for networking practice and to meet local companies. I talked to a woman in HR and since I was graduating early and they were in a huge expansion, she sent me an application.
      Job 2: Not networking, recruiters reached out when they heard Job 1 was closing
      Job 3: Networking. Person from Job 1 was at a company with a hard to fill position but it was a foot in the door of a new career path she knew I wanted. I didn’t have the skills but had the enthusiasm so she put me in touch with the hiring manager.
      Job 4: Networking. A different person from Job 1 that I kept in loose touch with through our local industry organization reached out with an opportunity.

    59. Marny*

      I got my current job via networking. My last job came about from interviewing for a job where I was the runner up so the employer referred me to the other employer. Before that, all jobs came through the normal application process. My belief is that early jobs come through applying whereas once you’re more established, they come through networking.

    60. Anonymous Koala*

      My first job out of college was through networking (ended up staying there for 5 years in various positions). That’s the only job I’ve taken that I got through networking, but I’ve also gotten 1 job offer from networking and 2 interviews through networking that turned out to be the wrong fit.

    61. seeeeeps*

      Internship – cold calling the organization and asking if they had an internship in what I was interested in
      First job – responded to an ad
      Second job – Asked the org I interned with if they would create a job for me (my internship went REALLY well)
      Third job – responded to an ad
      Fourth job – responded to an ad, but vetted the position with my network
      Current job – responded to an ad that was sent to me by a colleague, vetted the position heavily with my network including a pre-application call to the hiring manager, who I knew tangentially

    62. Purely Allegorical*

      I’ve been working for 10 years. I’d say around 70% of my jobs (and maybe 60% of my interviews… didn’t get all of them) came from either knowing someone who could flag my resume or doing an informational interview first and building a relationship. I’ve only had one major interview come out of coldly applying online.

    63. Charlotte Lucas*

      Twice in college: once to work at a Dairy Queen my friend worked at & once to be summer help at the bindery at the publishing company my mom worked at. So, not really for professional office jobs.

    64. CheesePlease*

      I am currently on my 3rd post-grad job. The first two I applied to online via the company website / online forum. My current job I got through networking. My husband’s manager knew another department needed someone with my skills, so I sent in my resume directly over email. I underwent the normal interview process. But 100% networking (and being married?) – even so it’s just 1/3 of my experience, not 80%

    65. Emby*

      None of mine came through what I think people mean as “networking”, but almost all of them are in the government where there are explicitly steps taken against this. I have had some people suggest I apply for certain jobs, but a: they made it super clear that the process was the same for whoever applied and b: I didn’t end up applying to any of them.

      But, working in the federal government is one of the best ways to get a federal government job (it literally adds points to your application’s score). And I picked the brains of other federal workers to ensure that my applications were as strong as possible (a favor I work very hard to pay forward). So networking definitely helped.

      1. Networking Gone Wild*

        Yeah, as a Fed, the idea of networking into a job while bypassing the formal application process always throws me. We _had_ someone in my office who was hired that way (sort of back door, series of temp not-to-exceed positions, which are less scrutinized). They were eventually caught. It was a scandal. Both the hiree and the manager who arranged for it were fired, and if you know anything about the federal government you know how difficult that is.

        1. Charlotte Lucas*

          Yep. I work in state government & it’s the same thing (except for appointed staff, which is all political). I went from being a contractor to being a government employee & still had to go through the full process for a job I was already doing.

          1. doreen*

            Even in my government jobs, there was networking to a certain extent. In my state, there was some discretion if the application process involved an actual civil-service list – the highest-scoring person was not guaranteed the job. Instead, the job had to go to a person with one of the top three scores – so if one person scored 100, one scored 90 and twenty scored 85 , one of those 22 people had to get the job. But choosing between those 22 is very possibly based on networking to some extent – do I know their work , does someone I trust recommend them , is someone I don’t trust pushing hard for me to choose them and so on

    66. Lacey*

      I got my first job in high school because my bff worked there and vouched for me.

      And I got my first office job because the owner of the company went to my church.

      But, every other job and all of the jobs I use my degree for – I got because of my skills.

    67. KarenK*

      I got two jobs via what might be called “networking.” The first was through waiting tables (the business owners came in for lunch every day), and the second was through through this business, as it was with their lawyer. I got my current job (the one I’ve had for 36 years) off of a temp stint.

      I’ve never gotten a job through a job interview.

      1. This is It, Really*

        Well, one was through my college job placement office after graduation, so two jobs out of many that weren’t obtained by responding to ads.

    68. WellRed*

      But networking isn’t exclusive of applying. To me, I have gotten several jobs because I learned of them through my network and adjacent networks but I still applied and interviewed.

      1. Captain Swan*

        I would count that as networking. My company just hired a person that I recommended for a position. I saw that this person posted on LinkedIn that thet were on the market. I knew the person from a previous position and knew that he would be potentially a good fit for this opening. Contacted the person asked for a resume and sent it to the hiring manager. This person interviewed and was selected for the position.
        In my little area of the world, I say it happens that way 30-60% of the time.

    69. KayDeeAye*

      I don’t know how applicable my information is since I’ve been at my current job for so long (20+ years), but even when I was last job-hunting, you still heard alllllllll the time that networking was The One and Only Way to Get a Job.

      It was nonsense then, so I suspect it’s nonsense now. Out of all the jobs in my (now) long career, the only one I got via networking was my current job. All of the others I got from answering an ad.

    70. mreasy*

      Honestly, all of my jobs except my first industry job came via my network. I applied for most of them formally, but in every case I had someone or multiple someone’s on the inside who alerted me to the job and contacted the hiring manager about me or I had directly worked with the company before. The good news is that my industry seems to be embracing more equitable hiring practices nowadays, and whenever I hire I don’t put an inordinate amount of weight on internal references. (The last person I hired was down to 2 with someone who came highly recommended by a senior exec, but didn’t quite nail the short skills test or have the same depth of experience. The person I hired turned out to be ideal and incredible at the role.)

      1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        See, I called this “known in my field” not “networking”.

        After a certain amount of time working in a field in a region this starts to happen. For my current location it took about 5 years of being good at my job, but the talent pool here is shallow and there are maybe 5 of us in my state who are in the 5-20 years experience range. Everyone else is <3 or 25+ and planning to retire

    71. Esmeralda*

      Networking landed me my first two jobs after college (admin type jobs). These jobs were never posted anywhere.

      Editing/admin job in grad school: job posted, I did not see the posting but met the hiring manager thru networking.

      FT visiting lecturer/asst prof job after grad school: job posted, I applied and didn’t even make the first round. Search failed. Got an interview (only person interviewed) thru networking.

      First job I got at present employer — job posted and I applied; was alerted to the position thru networking, people in my network worked it for me and this likely helped me get the interview.

      So, networking was incredibly helpful to me. Those first jobs were in 1982/83 — an incredibly terrible time for new liberal arts grads to get jobs. Academic jobs — good positions in liberal arts are very hard to get.

    72. Anne of Green Gables*

      I learned about my current job through networking, though I still went through the standard application and interview process. Someone I worked with previously reached out to me when someone at her new workplace was retiring; she knew my skills (and my terrible schedule at my then-current employer) and thought that the opening was a good fit for me and that the schedule flexibility at her new place would be much better for new-mom me.

      That’s how I think of when I think networking, not that I actually *got* the job because I knew someone, but that I was made aware of an opening I wouldn’t have been looking for otherwise. In this circumstance, the job was posted. I was not looking at all.

    73. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      I think we need to differentiate networking vs being competent and known in your profession

      Straight networking – For me a total fluke. Mr. Gumption had a chance to work in Bosnia. I have a friend that works at UNICEF. I contacted her and asked her if she knew anyone in the region I could talk to about work – paid or unpaid. Her friend was my specialty and was going on maternity leave (she was taking 2 years maybe more) 3 months after I arrived and they were struggling to find someone who would move for a “short” contract. I worked there 3 years AND got a pension

      Known in field – people who have worked with me and like me send me job postings and ask me to “pass it to anyone who might be interested” which is code in my area for “we’d love to have you, but if we can’t help us find another you”. You don’t want to email someone at their work email with anything less coded. I took the job 2x

      Normal slog – Been working since 14 so 35ish years 12-15 jobs, maybe more because I had a lot of service jobs. At least 10 in my field counting everything in grad school to today

      1. Just Another Starving Artist*

        Known in field is still networking though — colleagues/former colleagues are part of your network.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          But it has always been a passive process for me. I don’t hit up my network for jobs, my network sends me jobs and I do nothing. This is different, IMO, than “reaching out to” or “using” my network actively to get a job.

    74. Generic+Name*

      My last job I got because I went to a professional even and said I was looking for a job. My other post-graduate jobs I got applying to ads. College research assistant jobs I got the gumption route (I went around to offices in my major department and asked of any of the professors needed a research assistant).

    75. Texan In Exile*

      I (BA English, MBA) have gotten every job I have ever had through job ads, either online or at my grad school placement office.

      My husband (BSEE) has gotten every job he has ever had through networking – his previous bosses pulled him along to their next jobs, except his first one, which he got through our college placement office.

    76. Echo*

      I’ve worked full-time for two organizations. For the first one, I applied to a posting on Idealist.org. For the second one–at my current employer–I found out about the role through “networking” (read: an acquaintance from a non-work-related hobby) and was able to skip the initial resume screen because of our referral policy at the time, but still had to submit an application to a posting online and go through the interviewing process.

      Before I worked full time, the internships, volunteer gigs, and student jobs that filled out my resume were all things I got by applying to job ads.

      The only jobs that I truly got exclusively via networking were babysitting and doing odd jobs for neighbors when I was a teenager, and somehow I don’t think that’s what the 84% stat refers to…

    77. Purple Cat*

      I’ve gotten more jobs through networking than I have from straight job postings. My current job is a mixed bag. I only knew the job existed because my husband’s boss knew the recruiter. But I didn’t know anybody at the company, so I only got it because of my “network” but not really through “networking”.

    78. Dinwar*

      My wife worked at my job when I was done with school, and put my resume in behind my back. I do NOT like working with family–never ends well in my experience–so tried to get literally anyone else to hire me. They all turned me down, saying that the company my wife worked for was FAR better (and they were right). Ironically my wife couldn’t handle the job–no offense to her, this role has a 90% turnover in the first three years–and I’m still here 15 years later.

      Within the company I found out about a paleo job via an internal request, which everyone who knew me sent me. That took me out to California for a few years. Then that work dried up and I reached out to my old managers, and was able to get work back in Alabama.

      So for me it was mostly networking.

    79. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      Networking has never helped me get a job so far as I know.
      I’ve never been hired for a job that I applied for.

      All but one of the jobs I have held post-graduation started with recruitment by an out-of-state recruiter or headhunter.

    80. Antilles*

      Networking has been a factor in all of my career jobs (Civil Engineering, if that matters). 4/4=100%.
      -My internship in college: My master’s adviser knew a mid-level manager at a company and knew they were looking for interns for the summer.
      -My first after-graduation job: Same adviser himself went to grad school with a senior manager at a company.
      -My second job: I was heavily involved in my profession’s trade association and met a recruiter through it, who passed my name along to another recruiter, who knew of a company with an opening.
      -My current job: A friend who I went to college with had knew his company had openings and recommended I apply.

      That said, in every single case, it was still a full application process, full interview process, etc. The biggest boost was simply learning that the job openings existed – not that they were “hidden” or unposted, but more that my field has tons of companies so it helps to know who’s actively hiring.

    81. Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss*

      My job at the software company I got thru knowing someone in my choir.
      My current job I got thru someone my husband knows because they have a shared hobby.

      Knowing them got my foot in the door but I still had to success with the testing and resume.

      All my other jobs (and there are many)? I applied or used a recruiting agency.

      I’m not convinced networking lands 80-something percent of jobs.

    82. ThatGirl*

      Networking has definitely helped, but in all cases I still had to apply and interview for an open position.

      First job out of college I had an internship lined up for a newspaper and then their sister paper called and said hey, are you interested in this full-time job instead?
      Second job I got the interview through a friend of a friend.
      Third job I got through Craigslist lol
      Fourth job I met a guy through a networking group (“outplacement services”) who was just about to start a new job at a company I was interested in and he basically made sure the HR recruiter saw my application.
      Fifth job (current) someone did mention they thought I’d be good at it, but I wouldn’t call it networking, because she didn’t currently work there, she’d just also applied for it (and not gotten it).

      So I would say three had some elements of networking? But again nobody just handed me the job.

    83. darlingpants*

      I got my current (and second ever after grad school) by getting recruited by an old boss to a startup without a posted (or even written) job description.

      Now we post all the jobs and have a real HR but still get the best results (aka candidates actually accepting the job) by reaching out to former colleagues preemptively and asking them to apply.

      My husband got his first post-college job through an internship that wasn’t strictly posted or applied to (they met at a senior project showcase) and got his current job through a referral from a friend. Once again, he applied to a specific, posted job, but never would have know which one to apply to.

    84. Environmental Compliance*

      One, and it ended up a dumpster fire that I sprinted away from. I was poached by a previous coworker to work for her and she was not a good boss nor a good department head.

      I am now at two (2) jobs though that I called asking if they wanted a volunteer and was offered a job, so there’s that.

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        in summary, from oldest to newest:

        1. Saw job ad, applied
        2. Saw job ad, applied
        3. Saw job ad, applied
        4. Called to volunteer & they created position (did not know anyone there or name drop anyone, had worked at a similar position before)
        5. Saw job ad, applied
        6. Saw job ad, applied
        7. interoffice transfer
        8. Poached by coworker
        9. Saw job ad, applied. I guess they had worked with agency in #6 before but no one knew me? my boss? etc?
        10. Saw job ad, applied (currently here)
        10.a. called to volunteer, they had me apply for a paid position (very recent)

        I have never gotten a job through a career fair, and got the only “networky” one because someone knew me and referred/poached me.

        1. Environmental Compliance*

          And I’ve never gotten a job through a recruiter. Often get sent very odd jobs from recruiters that are either irrelevant, across the country, or oddly entry level.

    85. Art3mis*

      I think it helped me get my last job. The manager that interviewed me worked with my former manager at a previous job and she really liked me. I think she put in a good word for me. But I still applied for that job, and I didn’t know prior to applying or interviewing that she worked in that department or with that manager. I just knew she worked at that company.
      Every other job… no. I’ve applied and generally had either no contacts at the company or contacts that had no pull at all. Even at my current company a long time friend is the EA of the Chief HR Officer and that means diddly.

    86. Two Dog Night*

      Job #1 – college career center
      Job #2 – third-party recruiter
      Job #3 – brought in by someone I worked with at job #1
      Job #4 – brought in by a friend

      But I haven’t changed jobs since 2008, which seems like ages ago… I have no idea how much things have changed. Jobs 2 and 3 were in the ’90s, before everything moved to the internet.

    87. Jackalope*

      I’ve had to file applications for every job I’ve had; never found a job through networking alone or through a recruiter. That being said, my very first job was a college position and the supervisor was a professor I’d had before who already knew me, so once I applied she was ready to hire me based on her experience with me in the classroom.

    88. Pathfinder Ryder*

      The only two jobs I got through networking were part time student gigs: cleaning an office after my friend left this position, and market research surveying after a friend mentioned they had vacancies. (Plus ye olde “takeout place’s owners’ kids help out in the kitchen” thing when I was younger: my friend’s parents owned the takeout place.) I applied for all my other jobs.

    89. Erika22*

      Surprisingly I did use networking once to get an interview – I was a lowly admin and the VP of my small nonprofit moved on to a VP role at a large global company, and when I moved abroad and was struggling to find a job, I asked if he could “refer” me to a position. He did, it got me an interview, and I got the job! Later on my manager told me he was curious how/why a VP was referring someone at my level (then a step up above admin) but it wasn’t his referral that got me the job, it was me. I think it’s a good blend of using networking to support a job search in unusually difficult circumstances but not making it feel like a kind of nepotism.

    90. Lyudie*

      First job out of college: contacted by manager at HugeTechCo who was an alumni of my university and found me through the career center (sometimes they do good!)

      Later converted to a contractor when my time-limited position ran out but there was a hiring freeze, later moved to another department due to lack of work (so that is sort of networking?)

      Contacted by LargeTechCo via Monster for a contract, that ended and a year or so later they brought me back on a short-term contractor for a project. Again, networking I guess?

      I9 thing, I don’t remember now if I applied or they found me on a job board…I think I’ve blocked out most of that experience. Not networking though, I didn’t know any of those people.

      Last position: referred by a former coworker, definitely networking!

      Current: same company as above, moved departments…also networking!

    91. The Prettiest Curse*

      Thank you everyone who replied, this has been a really fascinating discussion! As I suspected, the usefulness of networking can vary a lot according to your field, job type and career stage. So don’t get discouraged if you just have to keep grinding away at job applications. I have been there and it can be brutal, so all the best to anyone who is currently trawling the job ads and firing off cover letters.

    92. the cat's ass*

      beginning of my NP career
      first job-newspaper ad. Second job-boss at first job also worked for job #2 . 3rd job-2 docs broke away from 2d job and i went with them. Current job-combo of craigslist ad and going to a seminar where my current boss recuited me. so, 50%?

    93. Prairie*

      I have had four professional jobs and got them all by applying online. No other connections to the organizations.

    94. Applesauced*

      Replied to ad – 3:
      – 2 service jobs (fast food/retail)
      – 1 internship (where it turned out I did know people in common)

      Networking – 4.5 – all white collar:
      – 1 internship where a classmate worked
      – 1 job with a former professor
      – 1 networking with someone from a volunteer position
      – 1/2 I saw an ad, realized I did know someone at the company and they put in a good word for me
      – 1 referral from a friend / former classmate
      – 1 randomly met my now boss on the street and kept in touch

    95. Qwerty*

      Define “networking”? My definition is getting a job through people that I actually know personally as more than an acquaintance, either professionally or socially. Stuff like this 84% statistic, which is usually tied to other bloated stats that claim most jobs aren’t even posted and has people searching for the “secret postings” don’t really count as networking to me.

      The only true network offer I have is from an old boss who has offered for me to join him several times and the interview process would probably just be meeting with his boss to get approval. I’d love to take him up on it, but there are legit on-site requirements and I like my current city.

      All of my actual jobs have come from either applying or being recruited. I consider job fairs and being recruited to fall under the “ad” section, because the companies are actively trying to fill those positions.

      I also make a big distinction between referring someone to a job because you have experience working with them vs referring a stranger from LinkedIn or a meetup. Companies seem to count posting a link to the job ad on social media as “referring” anyone who applies via that link.

    96. Paris Geller*

      The only jobs I’ve ever gotten through networking were my high school jobs. I did filing & typing for a funeral home when I was 16 because my mom worked there, and then worked at a movie theater in the summer because my friend worked there and recommended me to the owners. All my college & post-college jobs I got through good ol’ fashion applying into the void.

    97. Ann O'Nemity*

      I’ve never gotten a professional job from just applying to an ad. For the jobs I’ve gotten, I’ve always been referred or recruited by people I knew. I still had to apply and interview but I knew I was getting fast tracked in the process because of someone I knew. Having a good network may not be absolutely required but it just makes it easier.

    98. Blue*

      I got my first professional job completely due to networking. The job hadn’t been posted publicly when the founder’s kid, who I knew in high school, facebook messaged me after I had posted that I was looking. The org hired me without doing a public search. I (and the organization’s leadership) now know that this is an equity issue, but at the time it felt like it solved two problems (I needed a job, they needed to hire for a new position) very efficiently.

    99. Mary Jane*

      Networking played at least a small role in every job I’ve had.
      Job #1 – Summer internship offered by a family friend turned into a FT job offer after college graduation.
      Job #2 – Applied through ad but probably got the job because of connections. Promoted multiple times over 13 years, laid off during great recession.
      Job #3 – Applied to an ad, also got an internal recommendation from a friend who worked there (huge company) and hiring manager told me that helped me rise to the top of the pile.
      Job #4 – Was asked to apply through networking.
      Job #5 – Had previously applied & interviewed for a job I wasn’t quite qualified for, but they called to let me know about a more suitable opening a couple years later.
      Job #6 – Applied through an ad but also asked a connection about the company (very small) and he put in a good word for me (unsolicited).

    100. Cj*

      one of the jobs I had in high school was at a fast food place. there was no ad, it was just a sort of thing where people would stop it and fill out an application at any time. so it definitely wasn’t networking.

      my other high school job was as a waitress at a restaurant one of my friends moms owned. so networking.

      summer After High School job was at a place that assembled computer motherboards. this was 1979, so they weren’t the tiny things they are now, but we’re for Mainframe computers. a friend and I got the job because her sister and brother-in-law worked there. not networking in a professional sense come on but it wasn’t from an and, it was because I knew somebody who knew somebody.

      first professional job was from an ad. second one was when that firm was sold and I went to work for the acquiring company. (CPA firms).

      third professional job was from an ad.

      for the 4th, I called said owner of the firm and asked if he was looking for anybody. it wasn’t from an ad, and I guess you would say it was networking. but I just knew the owner from being in the same profession in the same town, it’s not like we kept in contact previously like you might think of a traditional Network.

      next job was from an ad.

      current job was through Robert Half. I got a LinkedIn message from one of their recruiters about a job they were looking for candidates for. that particular job didn’t turn out to be something that was right for me, but I got a different position through them.

      (sorry about the non/weird capitalization and punctuation. I’m doing speech to text and for some reason it’s not capitalizing things like it normally does, and I didn’t want to take the time to edit it all.)

    101. PersephoneUnderground*

      I’ve never gotten a job through networking- always through ads or temp placement (which I got from signing up with an agency). That’s roughly 2 office jobs through ads/non-networking channels, and 2 in retail the same way. I suppose I got referred to a restaurant job (hostess) kinda through networking once, but that just directed me to an opening, it wasn’t a definite yes.

      Now that I am further in my career networking seems to be coming up more, but it’s still just getting my resume looked at or alerting me to a posting, I haven’t actually landed a job that way yet.

    102. networkingstrawpollresponse*

      Jobs Held: 5
      Overall Working History Length: 18 years
      Jobs gained through networking via friends/family: 2 (high school job via friend recommendation, “internship” which was really temp work in data entry via parent)
      Jobs gained through “networking” via career fair/professional organization holding a talk on campus: 2 (internship and full time job at two different companies)
      Jobs gained through direct application via Indeed/Company Site: 1 (full time job)

    103. Mother of Corgis*

      All but one of my jobs has been through applying. My current job I got because my project was ending, and my boss at the time contacted one of our subcontractors on the project and recommended me to them.

    104. Sunflower*

      In the 90’s, I got part time office job at a college and a grocery store job by walking in and filling out an application.
      But all my other “grown up” jobs were referrals though relatives. I never got any responses from filling out dozens and dozens of online job applications. So I honestly believe most jobs are filled by networking unless you’re a superstar and/or have unique skills.

    105. Princex Of Hyrule*

      I’ve gotten most of my jobs through applying to ads — mostly low-paid customer service positions. One job I got entirely through networking — I was volunteering at an organization and when a contractor of theirs had an opening for a temp, I was invited to interview and the interview was basically “Please confirm you meet the minimum requirements. Great. When can you start?” I got a couple more temp jobs with that company the same way, and then my supervisor let me know they were hiring a permanent employee in a different department; I applied to that through regular channels with her as a reference and went through the regular competitive process (and now it’s my current job!). So it’s 1 or ~4 jobs depending how you slice it, but 1 company out of about 6 or 7 that hired this way.

    106. Artemesia*

      My first teaching job was at the school I student taught in — so connection not just random application.

      My first university position I was recommended by my major professor which might have made me a contender — it got me an interview.

      My final academic position after my department was cut in a merger, was one where I took the initiative to apply to a senior scholar being hired to run a research institute. I wrote and I asked my major professor from the university from which I graduated to write to him too. I literally the same day got two responses: 1. Thanks for the letter, we’ll be sure to keep it on file. 2.. Lee told me about your work and I have a position that needs to XYZ that you would be perfect for.. Please contact my secretary to set up a time to discuss the job with me.

      So depending on how you define networking I am at 100%

    107. Someguy*

      Both of my post-college jobs have come through my network.
      My roommate recommended me for a part-time job with his company – which subsequently became full time
      A professor/advisor, aware of my dissatisfaction with that position, recommended me for a position with the company he worked for – though I ended up interviewing for/getting a position in a different role. I was the first of six or eight people over the next half dozen years hired via him (grads who knew of us because of him and that he could recommend (or not, I suppose)

    108. EmmaPoet*

      *got a temp job in a university special library because I had worked there previously, and knew the department head, who was also good friends with my dad (he had a short-term archiving position where they needed someone who could start right then and wade through boxes of stuff);
      *got a consultant job because a friend of mine knew the person hiring and recommended me

    109. NotRealAnonforThis*

      Hmmmm…

      Paper ad in newspaper – 2
      Networking – 3
      Recruiter – 1

      That covers all non-retail employment since starting college, including an internship (that’s one of the newspaper ones).

      1. NotRealAnonforThis*

        (After reading further responses, a couple notes)

        Internship while in college – paper ad
        First job outside of college – networking
        Second job – paper ad
        Third and fourth jobs – networking
        Current – recruiter

        Time in industry – 24 years. Jobs 3-5 make up the bulk of my work experience (roughly 20 years) and are in a single subgroup of the industry.

    110. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

      Current civil service job — didn’t know about it until a network connection told me about it (and she checked w/HR to see if I could send a resume by start of business Monday instead of close of business on the Friday I learned about it.)
      Previous job — met someone in a training, mentioned I was underemployed. She had an opening. I started a week later.
      The one before that — retail. Walked in, filled out an app, started soon after.
      The one before that — professional — after filling out SO MANY applications and sending resumes all over town.
      The one before that — sent in resumes based on 3 sentence ads in the NY Times. (remember that?)

    111. WantonSeedStitch*

      From what I’ve seen, networking rarely gets people jobs. It gets them considered for jobs. I have a couple folks on my team at work who were encouraged to apply for open positions by people on the team who knew them. They still had to go through the applications process, but we asked HR to look out for their resumes and make sure the hiring manager got to look at them. The person they knew, in both cases, was able to talk to the hiring manager and put in a good word. But we still did multiple interviews with multiple candidates.

    112. Marvel*

      This is sooo dependent on industry, I think. Or maybe mine is just weird. I work in theatre so… that happens a lot.

      Of the per-show, short-term (no more than 3-4 months), and on-call contract jobs I’ve landed, I would say about 75% have been via networking (though I have landed a few very good positions by applying). 100% of the long-term and annual contracts I’ve gotten have been via networking, and my current full-time position is due to working shorter term contracts with the same company in the past… which I got by networking. I’ve also gotten multiple job offers via networking that I wasn’t able to take because I was already busy doing something else.

      So in my industry, yes, networking is literally everything. But honestly I’m very introverted and for a long time I was terrified that it would hold me back. Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t, but it certainly hasn’t been nearly as big of a problem as I thought it would be. Mostly what “networking” means in this context is being good at your job, easy to work with, and forming connections with people, so that when their company is trying to hire for a position you’d be a good fit for, you end up on their list of people to call. Some of it is also just luck. I have my current job because I did an interview at a totally unrelated company–and while I wasn’t hired, the hiring manager really liked me, and put me in touch with this company.

    113. Clisby*

      It used to be a common way to find a job in journalism – I got most of my newspaper jobs through networking. But that was pre-internet.

    114. MigraineMonth*

      If we exclude babysitting/dogwalking jobs, I’ve had 4 jobs in my field. I got the first through networking (IIRC) and the next three by replying to ads.

    115. Humble Schoolmarm*

      My first job with my school district was networking/nepotism/right place right time. The school had some grant money to hire literacy tutors for May and June. The hourly rate was amazing for a student but not nearly enough for an independent adult with bills (and it was pretty short term) so the school wasn’t getting applicants for the position. That led to some “Hey, Senior Schoolmarm, your daughter’s studying education, right?” and poof! I had the job (as well as a group of three other teachers-in-training who had some connection to the school and staff). All of my other jobs have been advertised and applied to in the usual way, but I’m sure having that experience (and a positive reference from a principal) helped me land my first official teaching job a year later.

    116. ferrina*

      Love this question! Let’s see….
      Not including internal transfers- 50% of my roles were from networking; 25% of those were never posted.
      Including internal transfers- 60% of my roles were from networking; 30% were never posted.

      Out of the 3-5 jobs I’ve gotten from networking, only one was a result of intentional networking. The rest were just me doing a really good job and being easy to work with, and folks recommending me for the next job.

    117. Cthulhu's Librarian*

      Networking has actively worked against me in job searching for government positions – the people in my network have to announce that they know me, and usually end up recusing themselves from the rest of the committee while my application is considered. And I’ve been told (informally) that it gets your application materials scrutinized at a higher standard, because the committee wants to be extra sure they’ve eliminated any potential for claims of bias.

    118. Someone, I Guess*

      I’ve had:
      -Undergrad campus job through application portal.
      -Grad school campus job via email to my cohort.
      -Grad school internship via program alumnus, though I still applied through the company website.
      -Post-grad school job via network.

    119. Veronica*

      1st ever job I got because my brothers worked there
      2nd job right after graduation I got because of a contact I had through my alumni office and through contacts at my first job
      3rd job I got because I asked a professor who also worked at the company to recommend me. I wouldn’t have gotten an interview if he hadn’t since my resume didn’t line up with what they thought they wanted.
      I have gotten interviews and one offer through applying, submitting resumes to companies, and recruiters, but none of them turned into an actual job. I think the networking and contacts made my job searches faster and more fruitful, but I would have gotten good jobs eventually without them.

    120. Just Another Cog*

      I’ve gotten at least half of the jobs I’ve had over my 40-year career through networking. I didn’t even fill out an application or submit a resume for many of them. One had me fill out an application, post hire, for my employee file. Most of these jobs were because someone from my employer at the time had moved on to another place and recommended a better job at their new place.

      I think networking worked for me because mine was a niche field and poaching was a common way to get people with the necessary experience.

    121. Irish Teacher.*

      Sorta…depends on how you define networking? Like I applied for a temporary job in the school I currently work in, got it the absolute typical “CV, then interview” way, but at the end of that year, the role was supposed to finish and then in June, the principal called me and said, “we’ve a vacancy for next year. Would you be interested in coming back?” and the head of my department told me afterwards that the principal had asked her, “hey, what do you think of Irish Teacher for this job?” and she’d said I get on really well with the students and am completely reliable.

      Other than that, my jobs have been official channels though, apart from two week subbing that a friend got me.

    122. Weaponized Pumpkin*

      Current job was through networking. This is my only FTE role through networking, but I’ve also gotten two long-term contract roles that way. The other 3 were ads.

    123. anonforthis*

      Not sure this counts as getting a job through networking, but I know I got a big leg up in getting my first permanent job because higher ups at my temporary job put in a lot of good words for me (without my asking) with the hiring team. And then there’s the fact that as you get further in your career you’re likely to know the hiring manager from somewhere (and they also know people who’ve worked with you to do off-book references with…) At a certain point, “networking” and just having working relationships with people becomes basically synonymous.

    124. Petty Betty*

      Networking has only helped me land one job in my entire 25 year career.
      However, thanks to my connections, I’ve placed multiple people in many positions.

      I think, in my case, I tend to be the “trailblazer” for good or bad, and then I pull my curated crew with me if I’m able.

    125. I hate this stat*

      I’ve had three full time positions (and five job offers), all of which I obtained by applying to ads (never had an inside connection). For my second full-time position, I interviewed for one role in the company and didn’t get it, and one of the interviewers recommended me for a different position (which I then got). But I am still counting that as “not networking” since I met them through the standard interview process.

      For my three internships in college (two unpaid, one paid), high school, and college job, I also all applied through ads. So I’m 100% job attainment through cold application/interviewing (unless you count the referral from a former interviewer as networking).

    126. Dona Florinda*

      I’m about 50-50%. One thing to keep in mind though is that, for me, every single process I got in through network granted me at least an interview, whilst job ads often don’t respond at all. YMMV, of course

      But like someone said above, networking isn’t necessarily going to conferences and chit-chatting with strangers; network can also be former peers or bosses, people you know from your personal life, even acquaintances that cannot vouch for your work, but at least can help you put your hat in the ring.

    127. MCMonkeyBean*

      This isn’t really data but just an anecdote I found very surprising even at the time. When I was in college my dad reached out to a friend at the AICPA to try to get me an internship. I was also applying for things and applied to an internship at The Motley Fool which was honestly a big stretch as I had very little knowledge about stocks.

      I was honestly like 95% sure I would be working that AICPA job which seemed like an obvious fit and a good connection. I did not get that job, but an editor at The Motley Fool reached out to say that while I wouldn’t be a good fit for the job I applied to, they wanted to create an editorial internship for me. That was a great summer internship experience, and when I applied for full-time jobs after grad school everyone wanted to talk about my time there.

      1. MCMonkeyBean*

        For my “real” jobs, I have worked at two companies.

        The first job I got through my grad school program. The program had a huge emphasis on job placement and all the major companies in our field came directly to the school to recruit. You were basically guaranteed at least one interview with any of them that you wanted and then they would choose whether to move you forward. The were mostly hiring for the two big cities nearby though and I wanted to live in a different city to move in with my then-boyfriend–luckily a company there called the program and said they were looking for someone and they were connected with me because I wanted to live there and it all worked out nicely.

        The second job I got through normal application channels. But… they hired me because I was the only person with a very specific experience they needed which I only had because of that first job. So I guess in some way I owe the initial network for that second job as well…

    128. Doctors Whom*

      I have held 5 professional jobs. 3 have been as the result of my personal/professional network.

      Only one of those three, though, was I targeted by the organization to recruit based on that network. The other two I was a referral from an employee, but still had to run the gamut through an interview cycle. The employee referring me didn’t have any involvement in the hiring decisions.

    129. devtoo*

      Of the 7 full-time roles I’ve had (across several industries), 2 have been through applying to ads. The other 5 were from connections via former coworkers, volunteer work, college friends, and in one case, family (I’m not proud of that one–it was as nepotistic as it sounds). To be clear though, I did formally apply and go through an interview process for all of those, I just also had a significant leg up because I knew someone.

    130. JHunz*

      Out of my three actual career-related jobs, two were from job ads and one was purely from networking (through a friend of my mother). That was also my worst job by a fair margin, but I think it’s more of a coincidence than a correlation.

    131. Curmudgeon in California*

      I definitely got my first job in college through networking – one of my neighbors’ workplace had a part time lab assistant job opening where she worked. After that, not so much. I’d say I have found ~20% of my jobs through networking.

    132. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      My law school internships were all the result of applying to ads. My first real job out of law school was admittedly through a law school friend (though it was just a good friend and I never thought of it as networking). My next real job was at the same firm as my sister, because they had a mass exodus of staff (big red flag, but I did not see that until later, and yes, my sister helped, but they were also desperate for anyone). My current job of eight years is with one of the agencies where I did my law school internship. My boss here at the time of my hiring had supervised me during my internship, so that surely helped me, but again, there was no networking that helped at all with securing that internship.

      So honestly, I really think the emphasis on networking is too high. It is worthwhile to know people who can alert you to opportunities, etc., but I really think only that first job out of law school was the only case where I got the job because I knew someone. Even in the case of my sister’s law firm, had she not been there and I applied right at that time, they would have jumped to hire me because, again, they were desperate.

    133. Betty (the other betty)*

      When I was laid off due to a company merger, I started my own (freelance) company. In the past 15 years, 98% of my clients have come to me via some form of networking or referral.

    134. Sophia Brooks*

      I have gotten all but one of my jobs through a personal connection.

      1. High School/College- my friends who were two years older recommended me.
      2. First job out of college- a professor’s friend in my field was looking for an assistant
      3. Retail when I left that field- Person who dated someone from my HS/College job was the receptionist when I applied. I started that day
      4. Assistant at the University- Only one I got just from applying, and I “reminded the interviewer of herself at my age”
      5. Different Department in the University- my friend’s brother recommended me.
      6. Promotion in that Department
      7. Non- Assistant Position in that Department created for me by someone I supported

      I am now in a position though where all my go to folks have left!

    135. Megs*

      I didn’t think networking played a big part, but now on reflection I think I only got one job purely from an ad. I still applied to most of the jobs through ads, but there was an element of insider info in most cases
      Job 1: Barista in college. Hired because my best friend worked there and they needed more help.
      Job 2: Worked in college library. Hired through work study program at college.
      Job 3: Summer research internship, hired by my professor from a previous class. This converted into a part time school year gig
      Job 4: Worked on a political campaign. I applied via an ad for a lower level position, but the candidate and I went to the same college and they flagged me for a higher level office position partially because of that.
      Job 5: Legal assistant. Hired from an ad
      Job 6: 1st professional job. Grad school mentor worked with company, I got summer internship there, this converted to full time
      Job 7: Research director. Heard about opening through connections at my previous company.

    136. Starbuck*

      I was hired for my current role by someone in the business who reached out directly to offer me the position when there was a vacancy (I’d worked there previously in a temporary position but had left for another gig that I did apply for without knowing anyone there). The position wasn’t posted and I didn’t have to apply, I just accepted the offer.

    137. fhqwhgads*

      The additional tricky part is how you count it.
      I’ve gotten 2 jobs because the hiring manager knew my work and had an opening and encouraged me to apply. In both cases it was unknown to me that I was essentially the only candidate being considered. Found that out way after the fact. But I was still directed to the job posting and went through the normal channels to apply, and went through multiple rounds of interviews just like anyone else would’ve. Had I seen the posting on my own I would’ve applied anyway. So it wasn’t a “hidden job” like the people who tout the fake statistic seem to imply. But networking was involved.
      3 other jobs I applied not knowing anyone in any way connected to the employer and was offered those jobs (only accepted 2 of them).

    138. Sincerely Raymond Holt*

      I have worked in 3 major companies in my 20-year career.
      Company #1 – Networking. I had been a temp at a company right out of college, and 2 of the ladies from that temp job asked me to join their team.
      Company #2 – Headhunted. I was looking to leave Company #1 and put Open on LI, and I was contacted by a headhunter.
      Company #3 (current job) – Applied Online. Saw the job posting on LinkedIn, applied, interviewed and got it. Didn’t know anyone here, didn’t have a foot in the door at all.

      I was also a Recruiter for a lot of my time at Companies #1 and #2, and I hired/found people ALL THE TIME from the online job posting. ALL.THE.TIME!!!!! Most of the people I have hired have been from online job applications, and definitely nowhere near 87%.

    139. Mid*

      College I worked in one role but was recruited by a different team to work for them, so I’d count that as networking. Then I worked as a temp and the same agency got me my permanent role, so I didn’t really apply but I’m not sure if that’s networking. My new job was a recruiter reaching out to me, I submitted my resume but didn’t directly apply. I’m not sure if these count as networking but they also aren’t me applying to positions.

    140. NetClari*

      My perspective is that networking alone doesn’t get you jobs, but it can get you information about what jobs are available. Here’s how I got my jobs (including internships):
      1. Applying to a company where my mom worked (internship).
      2. Cold applying to an internship — I heard about the opportunity through my department listserv in college.
      3. Cold applying to a company whose website I liked. Started as a intern but was later hired full time.
      4. Cold applying (to a federal government program, think AmeriCorps) after I heard about the opportunity through my college.
      5. Applying to a company where I didn’t know anyone, _but_ I did LinkedIn message some current employees and one of them agreed to refer me. They got a small referral bonus.
      6. Recruited based on my Indeed profile.

    141. Relentlessly Socratic*

      I left academia for OldJob #1–through networking; Left OldJob #1 last year and landed OldJob#2 through an ad; Left OldJob#2 (which was a categorical $h!tshow) for CurrentJob with former colleague met while at OldJob#1 (I don’t know if this is networking per se–we’d been sorta talking about working together before)

    142. Gumby*

      2 I heard about the job via networking; 2 from ads

      1. Summer internship – heard about the job in the first place because my uncle lived next door to someone who worked there. It was a ‘send me your resume I am going to give it to my neighbor’ thing. And while she was high-ish up in the org, I didn’t work in her division.
      2. Applied during senior year of university via job listing on one of the school job boards. After I started at that company I realized I did know several other employees but there was no networking beforehand and they were as surprised to see me as I was to see them.
      3. Straight up job ad. It was a job at my alma mater. The other person they hired into a similar position at the same time was not previously connected to the university.
      4. Friend who works here told me about the position.

    143. Silicon Valley Girl*

      I’ve gotten 3 jobs in 20+ years through any kind of networking, including referrals. Everything else has been an advertisement I applied to without knowing anyone at the company.

    144. Bubbletea*

      I have only got one job in any way other than either me replying to an advert, or me putting an advert out for my services (childcare etc), and that was when I asked someone in a tshirt for a children-related charity if she knew of anyone who needed a babysitter and it turned out she did. We actually were loosely connected by network but didn’t know that.

    145. What the Jorts?*

      My first job out of college was from networking. My current job is from networking. Everything in between was from job ads, and next week, I will be scheduling my first call with a recruiter.

    146. MrFigg*

      In the accounting/auditing field, my first job came from networking events in college, and the 2 after that from recruiters contacting me on Linkedin.

    147. Splendid Colors*

      I got a job for my best friend’s husband through networking. A makerspace colleague of mine mentioned that his day job was trying to hire an engineer but the resumes they were getting weren’t a good fit. I introduced him to Friend’s Husband who turned out to be a good fit and worked there successfully for several years (and left when the company changed direction).

      I almost got a job through networking at conferences–but it was a grant-funded research position and they didn’t get their funding renewed so they had to pull the offer.

    148. Willow*

      -retail job with family friend
      -retail job by application
      -internship by college career fair
      -internship after contacting alum of my college for an informational interview
      -full time job by online application

    149. Gary Patterson’s Cat*

      The problem with a poll is that it’s likely to end up about 50/50. I already see that from the comments.
      Either you’re convinced it’s networking, or you’re convinced it’s job boards/applying.

      Depends on the industry I suppose. Plus, other factors like size of metro area.

    150. Nina*

      I got my first job because it was data entry at my dad’s workplace, for a project my dad was leading. (temporary)
      I got my second job through old-fashioned ‘apply for everything on every job board in your town’ (also temporary)
      I got my third job through ‘80% of all the college students in your major worked at this company during college’ (technically permanent but quitting as soon as you finished college was normal)
      I got my fourth job through kind of reverse networking, where the company was not getting any bites on their job ads and reached out to my postgrad supervisor to ask if he knew anyone suitable (permanent, still here)

    151. Sunny days are better*

      I can give you stats for four family members:

      1:
      – networking
      – attending the company open house
      – referral from an employee

      2:
      – responded to an ad
      – referral and networking for five other jobs

      3:
      – hired full time after internship – which was originally arranged by internship coordinator
      – referral

      4:
      – responded to a posting on a company website – this position was not posted on any job search site.

    152. Jayem Griffin*

      Applied for a data entry job as a student, and they liked me so much they asked me to stay after I graduated. I’m not sure where that falls? The initial contact was just a job board posting, but the connections I made while I was a student worker probably played a role in my full-time hire.

      1. Jayem Griffin*

        Oh, and I had two jobs in undergrad that I got via the “apply online, show up fully dressed, respond to interview questions with complete and grammatical sentences” approach. (one retail, one food service)

  4. Jonquil*

    Oh number 3. I remember being told this back in high school (in the 90s). I think the careers advisor handed round a photocopied article with the scary headline about “the hidden job market!”. The debunking article says it better than I could, but it’s terrible advice for people starting out in their careers (smacks of “gumption” and “putting yourself out there”) and for the vast majority of us who are not in the c-suite. Most of the time there will be some form of advertising process, even if it’s internal or informal.

    1. Johanna Cabal*

      I commented above that it took me two jobs and several years to build my network. At least in the early to mid-2000s, I found that even recent college graduates were being told about the “hidden job market.” I was also given a similar spiel when I had to attend a required class on job hunting when I was on UE during my 2009 layoff.

      1. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

        I know, how am I supposed to convince someone to hire me for their fancy hush hush hidden job when I am a rookie straight out of law school. Excepting nepotism, nobody is getting a job right out of law school that is hidden. You have no demonstrable exceptional marketable skills to set you apart for a special position and no one hides it if they want to bring on a new junior associate!

    2. Johanna Cabal*

      I commented above that it took me two jobs and several years to build my network. At least in the early to mid-2000s, I found that even recent college graduates were being told about the “hidden job market.” I was also given a similar spiel when I had to attend a required class on job hunting when I was on UE during my 2009 layoff.

      I think over-emphasis does a lot of disservice to people early in their careers. If you’re more on the introvert side, many of the touted networking techniques can make you feel fake, and I’m sure that came across when I was trying to network when I was younger.

      1. Be kind, rewind*

        Yup. People getting jobs through their network are most likely several jobs into their career.

        I got my current job through applying online, but a LOT of people who work in my department are there because they know someone from a previous job.

      2. Smithy*

        100%

        Building a network is something you can’t rush and I also think it does a disservice to people fresh out of school and new in their career with how they think of their recent classmates/friends. When you’re fresh out of school/looking for work with your classmates in similar majors – those people are your actual “network” at the time. And the desire to want to help your friends find jobs never really goes way….that’s not entirely the same as your professional network. I know a few people who are amazing friends, but I do not want their professional lives/practices tied to mine in any way. But those were details I’ve learned over time.

        My friends from undergrad and graduate school who I’ve remained in touch with and who I talk to about work, have been valuable parts of my larger support network in terms of being there to read a cover letter on short notice, let me practice an interview presentation, listen to me vent about people from work, etc. This is an incredibly important part of my professional network and what I did start building when I was new in the work world. But not the same as networking for new jobs.

      3. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

        This was me … the fake thing. It just gave me anxiety and probably made me seem awkward (I am introverted, but socially adept and people like me, but I cannot do fake well). Plus you can come across as pushy. And honestly, the kind of networking they recommended seemed focused on throwing yourself into an employer’s path and forcing a superficial relationship. Most of the examples of “networking” helping people get jobs listed above are either after years in their career or through closer relationships like friends and families.

      4. Splendid Colors*

        This is TOTALLY what I was getting from all the (publicly funded) job search agencies in 2010-2011.

        I burned out on “networking” at events that were 95% other unemployed people who were either looking for the same jobs I was, or jobs in fields where it wouldn’t be reasonable for them to have connections who would want to hire a new master’s level biologist.

        Also a big thread of “building your personal brand” which frankly didn’t make much sense as a pipette jockey. “Wear on-trend business attire and heels and makeup/hair/manicures in the lab because the managers don’t know what you’re working on but they DO understand who looks like they fit in management. And make sure you know how much money you’re making the company so you can tell everyone!” I just wanted to do science and “dress for success” and “talk like a salesman” to get better science projects made me feel like I’d wasted a decade in school.

    3. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      Agreed and new to job market folks are the exact ones that don’t have the type of network you need to find jobs. I have it now, 20ish years into my career but it took years to build. So I guess networking works for people who already have a network?

      Maybe stories of how people got their first jobs will encourage new career folks stressing about networking?

      – My first job out of grad school was one where I got cold called (as in landline) about my resume on Monster in 2000 because I had a degree the recruiter was looking for. Had he known to send his posting to my grad program’s career center he’d have had buckets of us coming to him, but he didn’t. I’d had 20-30 interviews before this

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        After some temping, I applied for my first job out of college – they wanted someone with a degree and there weren’t a huge number of young graduates in that area at the time, which probably helped.

        When I moved back to the UK after many years in the US, I didn’t know anyone (except one family member) in the area and since I was making a slight switch in job roles, I just had to apply cold and hope for the best. I ended up getting a job faster than I thought I would – and this was at a time when the job market was bad.

      2. Pescadero*

        Except I’ve gotten most of my early jobs by… networking.

        Pre college –
        #1 job at 12 (bussing tables) – knew someone who worked there.
        #2 Newspaper delivery… picked up a friends route when he quit.
        #3 Dishwasher at Banquet hall – unadvertised job through friend who worked there

        In college –
        #4 Computer lab maintenance – unadvertised job I got through a friend who worked there
        #5 Internship at Nuclear Plant – unadvertised job where they sought me out because of grades
        #6 Co-Op at Pharmaceutical company – two friends got co-ops there and told me they existed, helped me get hired
        #7 Internship at Intel – they wanted to hire my friend, but he had already accepted a different position. Gave them my name and phone number and they cold called me

        Post college –
        #8 Full time job at Intel – completely due to internship achieved by networking
        #9 Precision Metrology Equiment – applied online
        #10 Research Electronics Engineer Tier 1 research University – applied online

        So most (~80%) of my jobs came through networking – and the only ones that didn’t were the ones latest in my career.

    4. Purple Cat*

      In my experiences it’s not that Networking has “gotten” me a job, but it’s that my network has informed me of jobs that I wouldn’t necessarily have known about otherwise.
      – after Grad School – someone came to school to talk about their career, later saw a job posting at their company and had that “in”.
      – Next job, told vendor I was looking, he told me a different client of his (that I worked with in a different capacity) had a job opening.
      – Current job – only knew job existed because husband’s boss knew the recruiter, and it got back to me.

      1. Jackalope*

        This happened to me with the job that started my current career trajectory. A housemate of mine heard about a job fair that was coming up and knew I was looking for work. I went and got on the mailing list for my now employer for upcoming hirings (they are a very big employer so have pretty regular entry level openings, and tend to hire groups so they can train everyone at once). No help once I applied, and no one in the hiring process knew me at all, but I wouldn’t have known about the career fair where this all started without a friend.

      2. Becca*

        Right. I was thinking, if a company only posts jobs on their website (and I’ve seen this even for plenty of low level jobs, although some like big restaurant chains may also post at their physical location) it may not be “unadvertised” but I’m not sure I’d agree it isn’t hidden. You have to either be looking at that company specifically (or happen to visit their location if they’re advertising there) or hear that it exists through connections.

    5. Dr. Hyphem*

      When I was going through the roughest part of my job search, a friend told me that most job postings were already filled before they were posted and just posted for legal compliance and to get a job, you totally had to know someone who wants to hire you, and that was so discouraging and not at all true and I hate how these rumors persist.

    6. El+l*

      Yeah, look, this is one of these things where there’s a marble of truth covered in a soccer-ball-sized mass of BS.

      The truth: It’s helpful to tell people just starting out that they shouldn’t expect that the ONLY way they’ll get a job is by dutifully applying. FWIW I’ve gotten three jobs in my career, and none were via the standard “send your resume to a job search cold” method. Two involved recruiters calling me, and the other was the closest I ever got to “gumption” where I just walked into a firm, handed them my resume with the words “I have no idea if you’re hiring, but if interested, call me”, and started there a week later.

      The BS: Stop repeating 84%. We have no idea where that number came from, what it counts, and so on. It’s sometimes even actively damaging to those it’s most directed at – the young who don’t already have networks. Makes them feel like they have to go to careers fairs even when not looking, do smarmy networking, and so on…

      The better advice for the young is: Find a healthy firm where you can just dive in, have a decent boss and culture, and you can learn to do good work. Learn to be personable and professional, and strive to get to meet people professionally. And from there, whatever happens happens.

    7. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      That’s a good point. I think it encourages younger inexperienced people to be overly aggressive (in a friendly way, but pushing yourself on people even in a friendly way can be really uncomfortable). And in all honesty, the effect of that advice probably does far more harm than good.

  5. WS*

    1. In my last, very large, workplace, we had a situation like this – high-ranking man having an affair with a middle-ranked woman whom he managed. He was fired, but the complicating factor was that his wife managed the department where the employee worked and she requested that the woman who’d had an affair not be left in her department. The employee was moved to another department in an identical job, got angry about it, quit, and took the organisation to the workplace tribunal for “demoting” her and related stress. The organisation won – the workplace tribunal said she had no grounds – but that was a good reminder to have EVERYTHING in writing!

    1. Emma*

      Yeah, honestly it would have been smarter to move the manager rather than the employee. But there probably wasn’t an opening in management.

      1. Warrior Princess Xena*

        I don’t know that I agree with this take. Having the employee not be in the same department as the manager is a given, but…the manager in this situation did nothing wrong, got cheated on, and then made the only really mature and sensible request she could. I wouldn’t have wanted to penalize the manager in this situation for being stuck into a miserable situation.

      2. Person from the Resume*

        I disagree. The manager did nothing wrong; she got cheated on. The manager recognized that there’s no way for her to manage her husband’s affair partner any longer. She would very likely have an extremely hard time being impartial. And even if she could be there’s now a reason that any decision related to the affair partner is questioned. She’s too harsh (because she’s angry at her and hurt); she’s too lenient (because she’s bending over too far backwards to avoid appearing biased).

        In fact this is so messy the manager should not have to say I don’t think I can manage the person my husband cheated with; the company should realize it’s an HR mess and take care of it.

      3. The Other Dawn*

        No, the employee is the one who should move. The manager didn’t do anything wrong, and appears to have been mature about the situation.

      4. Daisy*

        Easier to blame/demote the victim than deal with the person who did wrong! Moving the manager would absolutely be the wrong thing to do.

    2. Sue*

      It sounds like he also managed his wife? There were issues even before the affair/fallout. But I agree the wife should not have been moved against her will. She was an innocent victim of the situation.

    3. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Honestly I think it was ver heads up and mature of the manager and company to have the other half of the affair moved away from the wife here. It was a disaster waiting to happen if wife had been left as the manager of husband’s affair partner. And it sounds as if affair partner was laterally transferred to another department, so the demotion argument is odd.

  6. soontoberetired*

    Much sympathy with LW2 – been in the same situation in the past with one work group I had where the whole you don’t have children has been tried with me to get me to not book Christmas off – because the kids were off from school and they had to be home at the same time. I refused to switch – i did ask them if they were going to take the whole summer off when the kids were out of school. My subsequent work groups all ended up going thru a volunteer system to pick coverage for holidays. That has worked well because we are all pretty reasonable people.

    1. John Smith*

      We use a volunteer system too based on a rota. But the annoying thing is that, being public sector, no-one realises that we’re actually open when moat places are closed so there’s no point in anyone being in to begin with. When the manager is off, we agree for one senior person to come in and tell the rest of the staff to stay home. It’s ridiculous.

      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        Public sector UK here as well and I feel you on the “no point in anyone being in” thing. I remember the Christmas in my first permanent non-temp job where I’d agreed to cover Christmas Eve and ended up struggling in sick because there was no other cover for that job – in the event it was quiet enough that the nodding dog sat on my coworker’s desk could have probably covered. Fifteen years on I ask myself now why I went in feeling that bad.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          Personally my favorite week to work is between Christmas and New Year. So quiet, so calm, so very, very productive.

          1. EvilQueenRegina*

            For me now, it would be a good opportunity to catch up on stuff if any kind of backlog had built up in previous weeks, but very little new is likely to come in, so if it happened that I was relatively caught up in Christmas week I could then find myself spending all week reading old letters here. (At least the phones will be fairly quiet ). In the job I was in the year I felt I had to go in sick, it was very much a “respond there and then “ thing that didn’t easily allow me to build up backlog.

    2. rudster*

      Your frustration is understandable, but your logic is flawed. Those two situations are not even remotely comparable.
      1. The vast majority of people cannot afford to take the entire summer off and would almost certainly get fired for trying.
      2. There are a plethora of activities during the summer specifically designed to keep kids busy while out of the school and the parents are at work. Over Christmas, there isn’t much, if anything.
      3. If school-age children have to be left alone, it’s safer during the summer – long daylight hours, warm weather, etc.
      4. It’s the same argument as saying, “You only donated $500 to this charity. If you really cared you’d donate 50,000, quit your job and volunteer for them full-time. Therefore you clearly don’t care about their cause.”

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        Does “school holidays” only mean summer? I thought it meant week long breaks in the fall, winter, and spring

      2. Falling Diphthong*

        Pretty sure there are not stats to back up 3–kids dying of exposure is pretty rare.

        Places near me–specifically my health club–offer a sitting service on school holidays. If someone looks at me and says “Falling is the answer to my childcare coverage–she can take my shift at work!” I am within my rights to tell them to move right along to another answer.

      3. Dust Bunny*

        I think you took this more literally than the comment intended, because of course they’re not going to take all summer off, which is exactly why the “reason” they used to pressure her into not taking the time off is bogus.

        But also: They have kids. Part of parenting is figuring out how to manage this without abusing your coworkers.

        1. soontoberetired*

          yes, this exactly. As a single woman in a technical field, I have had to deal with a lot of crap like this over the years where someone expects me to change plans for someone with kids. I stopped being agreeable to it very early on.

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            Same. While I often take the coverage spot for religious holidays, because I’m not part of the mainstream religion, if I have family plans I’m not going to short my spouse and their family for someone else’s children. I can be sympathetic to the difficulties of parenting without sacrificing my time off for someone else’s kids. The fact that I prefer to do travel stuff at non-peak time means that it isn’t often a problem.

      4. Bagpuss*

        Not realy. The point is valid because the point is that them wanting to be with their childrne or needing childcare and not valid reasons to impose on cowokrkers.
        It’s not at all similar to charitable giving.

        And while there may be fewer child care options avaible, holidays are pretty predictable, as is the fact that schools are out and that child care will be needed. It’s not a sudden event that they have to scramble to accommodate.

        I’m also unconvenices about the incresed dangers of wintertime – if anything you could argue that children being left unsupervised in summer, when they risk heatstroke, might be tempted to be out and about and therefore at greater risk from accidents and malice is more dangerous than in winter when they are more likely to remain inside the house.
        But even if it were the case then it still doesn’t makethe point invalid 0- there are times that kids will be off school and part of being a parent is planning ahead for that and making appropraite arrangements

      5. Librarian of SHIELD*

        A lot of cities have Parks and Recreation kids camps during all school breaks, not just summer. The one near me has a low cost winter break camp that’s only closed on Christmas and New Years days. There might not be quite as many options as there are during the summer, but options exist.

      6. Russian in Texas*

        #3: where I live, kids have much higher chances of dying from a heat stroke than from any kind of winter exposure.
        #2 – this isn’t really my concern. I’ve dealt with “it’s easier for you because you don’t have kids to schedule around” for my service 20+ years long work life, and it’s really, really, not my concern.

          1. Willow*

            If they’ve been working over 20 years they’re probably around 40 years old which is plenty of life experience, so not sure why the lol? Did you misread it as 20+ years life rather than work life?

    3. Bagpuss*

      Yes, I had a job where I was the only one in our team of 3 who didn’t have children.
      One year, I booked time off almost 6 months in advance as we were planning a semi-surprise party for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. It fell during the half-term holiday (when schools are off for a week) because that was when her birthday was and because many of my cousins were still at school and several adult family members were teachers.
      About 2 weeks before, my coworkers realised I was off and that one of them would need to be in, and I came under a LOT of pressure to cancel my time off even after I explained why I’d booked it

      1. Librarian of SHIELD*

        This is what usually bothers me about these situations. When people without children say they are taking holiday time off to spend with their family and get told, directly or indirectly, that their family is less valid or important than their coworkers’ families.

        I don’t have kids, so people say “you don’t have a family.” I do, in fact, have a family, and I’m as entitled to spend time with them as any of my coworkers are. My family doesn’t become less important because I haven’t birthed any minor children. I acknowledge that children need to be looked after in ways that the members of my family usually don’t, but that shouldn’t mean I never get to spend any holidays with my family because Jane’s kids are out of school.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          ^This. I’m totally OK flexing my leave to make my coworker’s lives easier on occasion, but the assumption that my family isn’t as important as theirs because I don’t have kids gets my back up. I don’t get to see my family unless I take leave to travel, so only see them 2-3 times a year. This time is very important to me

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            Yeah. At my age the only blood relatives I have are my mom, my sister and her kids. My spouse has even less blood family left. But earlier on we would often travel to see their family, who were often elderly, and celebrate special occasions. I wasn’t going to throw that over for someone’s kids. I seldom got too much flak, because I would often cover on religious holidays that I didn’t celebrate.

          2. Jackalope*

            My coworkers have always been good about this and I’ve never had any issues. But if someone were to tell me that they thought parents should be able to spend holidays with their kids, I would tell them that my dad totally agrees with them!

    4. LPUK*

      I used to get this too – ‘you don’t have a family like I do’. Of course I do – I wasn’t hatched in a jam jar. It’s just that my family doesn’t live with me and I have to travel to see them (and for seven years, that meant international travel) If I can’t get some time off, I can’t see my family at all. If you have to work some of the time, you’ll still go home to your partner and kids at the end of the day, not an empty house while the rest of your family celebrates

      1. Bagpuss*

        Yes, it wasn’t international for me but it was (and is) generally me that travels to see family, and I’m now at the point when I have young niblings and honorary niblings so again, if I actually want to spend time with them it needs to be in school holidays!

        OF course I understand that people need to find child care and/or want to be able to celebrate with their children (And as a divorce lawyer I know how strongly people feel about that!) but equally, those without childnre also have cmmittments, responsibilities, and families and it’s of equal important for them to get to take the time off they want, on an equal footing.

      2. Lizzie*

        Yes! My ONLY immediate family lived 8 hours away. I had no one here, so unless I wanted to spend Christmas alone, I had to travel. My parents had moved, and a couple years after that, my dad passed away, ON Christmas Day, so there was no way I was not going to spend it with my mom. Thankfully, my boss was very accomodating, as was I. I would always take my laptop, work if needed, and if the day after fell on a weekday, my boss, who always took that week between off, would work, so I could drive home.

        But I also worked somewhere else, where time off was done by seniority, one of four dept. admins. One, who had been there the longest, once took every summer friday off. which wasn’t fair at all.

        But I really hate that if you don’t have kids, or a partner, you don’t NEED time off. And the OP planned ahead, and their CW did not. Not their problem!

        1. Clisby*

          When I worked for newspapers, the place with the best vacation policy was something like:

          First, ask for volunteers. That could prevent conflicts. For example, I didn’t start work until about 4 p.m., and lived about an hour from a significant number of family. I way preferred taking Christmas Eve off rather than Christmas – I could leave early in the morning to go to my family, spend all of Christmas Eve (which is when my family had the big Christmas dinner), get up in the morning to enjoy Christmas with a bunch of nieces and nephews, eat leftovers at lunch, and leave about 2 p.m. to be back at work on Christmas. We could choose between being paid double time or getting 2 different days off whenever we wanted, which could work out well for people who wanted a different paid holiday. Because of this double-time provision, I always volunteered to work July 4, Labor Day, New Year’s – none of those holidays means squat to me.

          Second, if an employee didn’t work a holiday (any holiday) one year, then anybody who did work it took precedence in getting it off the next year. Depending on the holiday (I think this might have applied only to Thanksgiving and Christmas) you never had to work both in the same year.

          Third, seniority had nothing to do with it, except I think if a new employee came on board in, say, October, they very well could have gotten the short end of the stick because everybody else’s plans were set, but if that ever happened it wasn’t frequent.

          Fourth, children had nothing to do with it.

      3. Irish Teacher.*

        Your comment reminded me of a priest who said he found it annoying when people said priests didn’t have families because “whatever way I look at it, I wasn’t beamed down from Mars.”

    5. Nikki*

      I understand that everyone wants the holidays off work, not just parents of small children, but you seem to be making some unfair assumptions. During the summer, there are a ton of childcare options. Most school districts, YMCAs, and parks and rec departments offer a variety of summer camps during working hours so parents have lots of choices. During the holidays, none of that is available and even finding private child care is challenging because most child care providers also have holiday plans. It puts parents who have to work in an impossible position. I’m not saying you need to give up your holiday plans for these parents, but please at least be more compassionate about the difficult position they’re in.

      1. Person from the Resume*

        It’s not about childcare. It’s about saying the single person doesn’t deserve to spend holidays with THEIR family because the parents deserve time off more than single people. That’s not true. Each employee deserves the amount of time off the company allows and everyone equally deserving of the “prime” important holidays.

        A single person with no family nearby needs to travel to have a family holiday. I could say they deserve the holidays off more than parents who see their kids everyday year round. Who can be with their family on the holiday without extra vacation because they live in the same house as them.

        1. Nikki*

          Like I said in my reply, I’m not saying anyone should give up their time off for anyone else. The person I was replying to was making their reply specifically about child care which is why I was referencing that.

      2. Dust Bunny*

        Their childcare situation is not, and should not be, their coworkers’ problem, though, and it shouldn’t prevent other people from seeing their families, too over holidays.

        1. Nikki*

          Yes, that’s exactly what I said in my reply. My reply was very specifically to the user who was asking their co coworkers if they’re taking the summer off to care for their children. I was saying that’s an unfair thing to ask. I also said nobody should be expected to give up their time for anyone else. I was just trying to explain to that one person why that’s an unfair thing to ask their co workers when deciding time off.

          1. MCMonkeyBean*

            It’s not an unfair thing to ask; it is an obviously ridiculous rhetorical question specifically to point out how unfair it is for the coworker to ever suggest they should get Christmas off simply because their kids are home from school and anyone without kids should be forced to accommodate that.

    6. Despachito*

      I think Alison is spot on with

      1) providing motivation to people by paying more over the holidays
      2) if this does not work, doing a rota based on who had the holidays the years before, not on seniority or the fact who has kids.

      I once had to fight a bit because my coworkers (longer with the company than I) automatically felt it was them who was entitled to have Christmas time off. One of them had kids, the other didn’t. After covering the Christmas holidays for two or three years in a row I proposed a rota. They were not particularly happy about that but did not have arguments against it.

      When I was single and childless, I could imagine that if the coworkers were reasonable I might consider that they have kids and the vacation comes in handy, if it did not matter that much for me, and if they asked knowing they are asking a big favor. But my willingness to give them priority would disappear if they acted in any way entitled and thought they SHOULD be given priority because they had kids.

      I find the badgering coworker inappropriate and ridiculous. If she is trying to guilt OP into giving in, I hope she won’t get that.

      1. Bagpuss*

        Yes, one place wehre I worked had a set date before which you couldn’t book time off over the most popular holidays, and then it was opened up in stages, so it would open up for people who hadn’t had that time off for 2 yers first, then a few days later to theose eho had not ben off the previous year, then finally fully open. IIRC, becuse there were a fair number of people who worked part time, it was also made clear that for each tranche, none of the requests would be looked at until that tranche ‘clsoed’ so if you didn’t work Monday’s, your request wasn’t behind those of everyone in your group whp did and who submitted it at 9.00 on Monday morning.

        I am not sure how it was decided if there were too many people in tranche 1 – I know that being in tranche 1 didn’t guarantee the time off as it was still dependent on coverage needs in each department, but I think if you were in trnache 1 one year and didn’t get the time off, you were first in line the following year, so they did go to some trouble to make it as fair as possible.

        1. Random Bystander*

          That sort of thing (if you didn’t get your request in the first year, you were auto first in line the following year) is one of the best practices, in my opinion.

          Where I work, we used to have someone who was ‘seniority over all other considerations’ which was, quite frankly, horrible–5 years into the job I was *still* “too junior” to have a chance at things like preferred schedule (even though we didn’t take incoming calls, and there was no reason to worry about “coverage” during “core hours”) or extra days off around highly-desired holidays. That person was replaced, and right off the bat she let me switch the hours to preferred hours (it was a half hour shift earlier, but it really made a difference to me–the earlier start meant that I could drop kids off at school and head straight to work instead of having this weird half-hour in-between that was not enough time to accomplish anything but too much time to just sit around; likewise the half hour later at the end of the day made my life more difficult for a multitude of reasons). The new grand boss also instituted the plan that has remained in place ever since–there’d be “skeleton crew” days so that just over half the office could be off work, and anyone who requested the highly desired days in Year 1 who was denied would be top of the list for Year 2 requests and the group that had gotten the days off in Year 1 would only get the days approved in Year 2 if there were fewer requests than the “slots” available.

    7. BethDH*

      I end up having to take vacation time at the winter holidays even though I would prefer not to take my vacation then because I have small children and we cannot find childcare during that time (my husband and I split it, but we still end up each taking over a week). There’s one program in the area through a community center that is open for winter/spring breaks and I’ve been on the waitlist since we moved over three years ago.

      I’m not in a position that requires coverage so it doesn’t inconvenience anyone else, but I bet there are a whole lot of other parents in the same position. I would much rather save my vacation time and travel when the airports are less crowded.

      I don’t have a good solution since it’s fair that teachers and daycare staff want to see their families too, but please don’t assume that parents just aren’t trying to find care.

      1. Dinwar*

        “…but please don’t assume that parents just aren’t trying to find care.”

        I never realized, until I started reading this comments section, just how many people are hostile to parents. Every time a question comes up where being a parent impacts work in some way there’s a huge number of comments that are just toxic. I try to ignore them–no sense getting sucked into the slime. Any reasonable person understands that both sides have issues and that trying to resolve a three-way conflict (two works asking for time off plus the company) is really hard; such people tend, in my experience, to be FAR less hateful towards parents (or anyone, really).

        1. T. Boone Pickens*

          There is some hostility towards parents because there are countless examples both here in the comments, letters that come in and real world scenarios for childless folks getting pushed over for parents. While the comments here at times maybe skew a touch anti-parent, I think there is a good balance of discussion. If you want to see a real hot button discussion, feel free to circle back towards the WFH discussions. There was a letter that popped in from an essential worker that had to come into the office asking for WFH folks to show them some grace and you would’ve thought all heck broke loose!

        2. Bagpuss*

          I dont’t think people are hostile to parents. That’s not what I am seeing in these comments, at least.

          I think people are annoyed by the entitled attitude of *some* parents, particularly towards people who don’t have children. It’s the entitlement, not the parenthood, which is the issue.

          1. Dinwar*

            Hard to read “SIM Card Erased”s post and not see hostility towards parents. I’ll admit it’s gotten better–I remember in the past it was nasty enough that a lot of posts got deleted–but the attitude is still very much alive and well.

            And I don’t buy the argument that it’s directed against “entitlement” or only some parents. It’s the “I’m not touching you” game–how close can I get to saying that I hate parents without actually saying it. Again, replace “parent” with “LGBTQ+” and read some of these comments and see if you’d find it acceptable.

            If posters don’t want to exhibit hostility towards parents, they should direct their ire towards the appropriate target: bad managers. Ultimately the issue isn’t parents vs non-parents, it’s managers that aren’t properly managing their teams. Properly managed teams allow everyone to get adequate time off, regardless of family status, because that’s how best to ensure the team runs smoothly and no one burns out (ie it’s better for the company–which is the manager’s ultimately responsibility). By focusing on attacking each other, we give those bad managers a free pass.

            1. Deanna Troi*

              If parents just talked to their managers about needing time off, then I don’t think that most of the comments in this thread would have been made. But many of the concerns are about people who are getting pressure directly from their coworkers, in the form of requests to change their leave, snide remarks, or insinuations that their family isn’t real because they aren’t parents. So, no, this isn’t just a manager issue, and coworkers who do those things are definitely acting entitled.

              As someone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I am puzzled by your comparison. I have never experienced anyone saying they should have time off because they are LGBTQ+ and that those who are not LGBTQ+ are not entitled to that time off. Even if someone who is LGBTQ+ requested a day off to partake in a Pride event, the comparison doesn’t hold, because a coworker who is not LGBTQ+ presumably isn’t asking off for that same event. It isn’t like Thanksgiving, where both parents AND non-parents are likely to want to celebrate.

              1. Pescadero*

                I’d say any job where employees are expected to manage conflicts in scheduling is a “management issue”.

                If employees are in charge of scheduling or “finding coverage” – that is, by definition, a management failure.

                1. Yorick*

                  But a lot of these times, management isn’t expecting them to find coverage. Management is just not prioritizing parents and is letting a non-parent take the time, so the parent tries to get the non-parent to give up that time so they can have it instead. That is a bad coworker, not bad management.

        3. londonedit*

          As someone without children, from my perspective it is very easy to feel like society in general regards us as ‘less than’ because we haven’t reproduced. From the ‘it’s selfish’ and ‘you’ll never know real love until you have a child’ sentiments to the ‘Christmas is only special if you have kids’ and the ‘why can’t you come in over the holiday, it’s not like you have any responsibilities at home’ attitudes, it can be exhausting.

          Of course, both sides have issues. Of course, parenting is not easy. Of course, society should respect parents and make it easy for them to work and raise children if that’s what they want to do. But it seems all too often that those discussions just lead to ‘Parenting Is The Hardest Job In The World’ and those of us without kids are expected to pick up the slack (which of course we should be happy to do because our lives are easy-breezy with ‘no responsibilities’).

          1. Lady Ann*

            I agree it is very irksome when people assume you have no responsibilities, or your family is less important, because you don’t have kids. People also tend to assume that you will have kids someday and so you will benefit from your child free coworkers covering for you, but if you never plan to have kids, are you doomed to work late/cover holidays forever?

            1. londonedit*

              Oh, yes! ‘Well, it’ll all work out when you have children and you need the time off’ – nope, some of us aren’t planning to have children at all.

              1. Splendid Colors*

                I’m one of the “not planning to have children” folks myself.

                And it seems it would be unintentionally cruel to people who are trying to have children but have been unable to have them.

          2. Just Another Starving Artist*

            By and large, though, the Parenting is the Hardest Job people would be that way about something else if they weren’t parents. They’re not shitty and entitled because they’re parents, they’re just shitty and entitled as a whole and their kids are the easiest excuse. If it wasn’t kids, then *their* parents would be the sickest ever and you don’t understand how hard it is to be a caregiver, or they would have booked a nonrefundable trip to Aruba because don’t you know how hard it is to be alone on the holidays? It’s not about parents, it’s about assholes.

          3. Curmudgeon in California*

            Seriously. I never made a big thing at work of being childfree.

            Since I’m not Christian, I would willingly work the Christian holidays so that my coworkers could celebrate, so that shortstopped a lot of issues.

            But if they tried to pull the parent card? I had no sympathy. I’m not responsible for their childcare issues. It seldom came up, though, because I mostly work with adults who aren’t entitled.

        4. Starbuck*

          I think what a lot of people are really hostile towards is poor management that tries to unreasonably burden childless people to make up for the other huge burdens that parents have that they don’t get adequate support from society for. Some parents of course have entitled expectations as well and that can be unpleasant on a personal level, but it’s really management that’s the issue.

    8. Lady Ann*

      I used to work at a place that had to be staffed 24/7, and the way they handled holidays was they put out the schedule at the beginning of the year and everyone had to sign up for at least two holiday shifts. The turnover was so bad that in my 4th year there I was the most senior person. Of course I signed up for the holidays I wanted at the beginning of the year and the newest people generally ended up working Thanksgiving and Christmas. The last year I worked there my boss told me “next year you have to work Thanksgiving and Christmas because you don’t have kids.” That year I had worked 1st shift on Easter, 1st AND 2nd shift on the 4th of July, and 2nd shift on Christmas Eve, which wasn’t technically a holiday but which the parents obviously did not want to work because they (understandably) wanted to be home preparing for Christmas morning. I didn’t appreciate the implication that I wasn’t doing my fair share. Luckily, it was a moot point because I was graduating May of the next year and ended up quitting for a new job before Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around.

      1. HoHumDrum*

        I like the idea of setting it up where you proactively choose which holidays to work, vs. just first-come first serve to get time off.

        I have a big, disorganized family so figuring out what specific day(s) we were doing a family celebration never happens before December, plus I usually don’t have enough money to be sure I can afford to travel until it gets closer, so when I worked places where everyone else took time off back in July I always got screwed over. I would happily work many other major holidays in order to get some breathing room & flexibility around december.

  7. Mina, The Company Prom Queen*

    #2: The grey-rock, “mhm” approach is best here. Whatever you do, don’t answer your co-worker’s nosy questions. That just gives them the opportunity to argue their case that their reason for taking the time off or what they plan to do on their time off is more important than your reason or what you plan to do. At my previous job, I got my time off approved well in advance. I didn’t take any time off the previous holiday season, so was looking forward to taking time off my second year there. Well, Self-Appointed Hall Monitor looked ahead at the team calendar saw that I had that time off, which was approved by our manager. She questioned me about it and I said I didn’t take any time off the the holidays the previous year. She just said “So??” (Luckily, I left the company soon after that so it didn’t matter anyway.) So if you’re dealing with an awful co-worker like that, you might get a similar response or they might take whatever reason you give as ammunition to argue their case. Don’t fall for it. Be a grey rock.

    1. Tinkerbell*

      Yep – the more you talk, the more your nosy coworker can “interpret” your responses any way she wants. If you’ve got a gossipy office and/or a manager with no common sense, that can end up with “I thought I’d go to the coast for Christmas with my boyfriend” –> “so you haven’t decided yet?” –> “yeah, she said she’d switch weeks with me, she really hadn’t decided whether she wanted Christmas off” –> all of a sudden, it’s Thanksgiving and you notice you’re on the roster for Christmas week because your boss took your coworker’s word without consulting you :-\

      1. Nobby Nobbs*

        Discussing your holiday plans is for offices and coworkers who mean it as small talk, not a trap. It’s the same principle as “reasons are for reasonable people.”

      2. Just here for the cats*

        That’s on the manager, They need to check with the person if they are going to cancel approved time off.

        And in this case I would go to the manager and say that you were approved before and you will not be working and the person who lied can cover.

        1. LITJess*

          Or the manager who super messed up by cancelling one employee’s leave on the word of someone else entirely.

    2. Allonge*

      Yes! Keep up with the mhm / sure, that sounds fun answers, OP.

      If someone wants something from me, they should at least ask directly. This passive-agressive hinting / asking for specifics is not going to go anywhere.

    3. Cj*

      The problem with going grey rock is that you have to continue keep listening to the comments.

      I’d prefer to just go with the straightforward statement of if you’re hinting that I give up my PTO so you can be off instead, that’s not going to happen. You don’t have to tell them what you plan to do so they can argue that their plans are more important, just say you’re not giving up your time off.

      1. Despachito*

        “you have to continue keep listening to the comments.”

        If you feel up to it, you can derive some perverted pleasure from observing the person try to convey the message… and fail every time.

        (I also hate passive-aggressive hinting)

        1. HoHumDrum*

          It can be so fun to be willfully obtuse to someone who refuses to just say what they want to say. It’s my favorite uno-reverse card to play.

          Especially when you can do it in a chipper manner that suggests from *your* end this has been such a fun conversation about holiday plans, how fascinating to hear all about yours!

          1. Despachito*

            “It must be nice to be able to do XX”
            “Yes, absolutely! It is awesome, and I am really enjoying it!”

          2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

            I have found my people. I love doing this. It is amazing how many people give up rather than just saying what they mean straight out. I will make you use your words

    4. Daisy*

      “I have plans that can’t be changed” is always good. You are under no obligation to let them know if you are finally spending the holiday with relatives you haven’t seen in years or if your plans are to curl up on the couch in your jammies and have a Scooby Doo marathon.
      Under no circumstances give details. Details just mean you can be argued out of your position.
      Management should definitely give holiday pay/huge bonus/extra time off for people who volunteer to work holidays.

  8. Decidedly Me*

    LW4 – I definitely agree with no more than 5 minutes; just on time is totally fine, too. I use Zoom and get those emails about people waiting and it’s really annoying to see people log in 10-15 (or more!) minutes early.

    1. AcademicChick*

      With a waiting room it really doesn’t matter to me when a person enter (it may signal that they might not be a chronically late person or realize they need to be on time for important meetings).

      If it’s just me and I get the e-mail I might only think “they’re early” – I wouldn’t spend a single other thought on it whatsoever.

      That being said – there is no reason to do it any earlier than 5 min before! Folks will be busy/prepping/doing other things anyway.

      1. LW #4*

        Yeah, definitely agree. Thanks for your reassuring POV. (Now for some reason, I have in my head me being startled by the interviewer popping on and accidentally pulling out one of Moira Rose’s many Walken-level line readings: “Oh, hiii!”)

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        I’m easily distracted and will lose track of time and be late to remote meetings if I am not careful, so I set my reminder for 10 minutes before and generally log on 5-7 minutes early. That way I can put on my headphones, dig into something else, and not get so wrapped up that I completely forget there was a meeting.

      3. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I generally go with 5-7 minutes as well. That way I’m on time and ready, and if there are any IT whoopsies I have time to troubleshoot or get in touch with the organizer to get an updated link..

        Plus some waiting rooms let you chat with the other people there – it can be a great way to ask a fast question or check in with other teammates when that is the case.

    2. Glitsy Gus*

      Yeah, I agree. I actually learned this the hard way. I had an interview scheduled, and was a little nervous that I would have tech issues. I decided to try the zoom link about 20 minutes early, just to make sure I could get in. Well, guess who popped right into the room with a very confused look? The person I was supposed to meet later because they were pinged when I logged into the room.

      It all worked out, I told her what was going on and she laughed and said she would see me in 20 minutes, but oh man was I embarrassed. If she had happened to be in the middle of something urgent, or she wasn’t so easy going, it may have ended up causing more of a bad impression.

      1. Allonge*

        I don’t think it’s anything to be embarrased about.

        Also for an in-person interview in a phyical location, it’s not a bad idea to be there early enough that you can wait to e.g. get through any security, find the directory, wait for the elevator etc.

        Zoom is used often enough but not by all means the only videoconferencing tool, audio settings get messed up etc. Having an option to check if all is well / a waiting room of some kind is a good idea for the company.

        1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

          Totally agree about the need for a few minutes to check on the tech side. As an example, I’ve had company issued computers that don’t like it when I switch between video conferencing platforms.

          As in, the computer works fine for BlueJeans, then when I end that call and join a new call on Zoom, audio stops working (and vice versa). Annoying for routine calls, nerve-racking for an interview or other higher pressure call.

      2. Purple Cat*

        Being on both sides of the interviewing desk recently, this wouldn’t have caused a bad impression. I try not to log in “too” early for interviews, but I do make sure to log in early because I always seem to have technically difficulties. Striving for “on-time” would definitely make me late.

    3. LPUK*

      Although for a job interview and a big meeting, I might do a tech check first – that software works, internet is good etc. I can’t count how many times just before a Team meeting my computer decides it’s never hear of MS Teams and I have to reinstall the software – very stressful

      1. LW #4*

        Thanks for this reminder — will be testing it out this morning, well before our meeting, fingers crossed!

      2. Mockingjay*

        Agree on the randomness of Teams functionality! I use Teams daily; usually it runs in the background and I pop on for quick chats. For some reason, the more important the meeting, the better the chances are that when I try to join the meeting, it will freeze/crash/lose audio/have that horrible mike echo/internet or VPN will flicker so connection is lost…I am going to start playing a form of Teams Bingo, lol.

        Zoom, which I use on my personal devices, is steadier.

        Do a tech check an hour beforehand. Just in case, have the number of the interviewer handy so you can call and let them know if there is an issue logging on.

    4. LW #4*

      Yeah, that’s what I was worried about because I get annoyed by those alerts too. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with them!

    5. Phony Genius*

      We use WebEx here. It won’t let you log on until 5 minutes or less before the meeting, so it has pretty much decided this question for you.

    6. Ally McBeal*

      I dunno, I try not to think of those notifications as annoying for two reasons:

      1. Depending on your field/industry, calling in super early could be the norm. When I was on Wall Street we all dialed in 15-30 minutes early for earnings calls because dialing in early meant you could usually land an early spot in the Q&A queue. So if someone is coming from an industry where that’s normal, it’s an easy habit to carry over.

      2. I have often been in the zone on a project in the minutes leading up to a call and occasionally lose track of time. My Outlook calendar defaults to sending the meeting notification 15 minutes in advance, so if I know I run the risk of forgetting I’ll sometimes join early (usually not 15, but I’ll snooze my alarm until 5 minutes before and join then) so I have the auditory reminder of people joining the call.

    7. Clisby*

      When I worked for newspapers, the place with the best vacation policy was something like:

      First, ask for volunteers. That could prevent conflicts. For example, I didn’t start work until about 4 p.m., and lived about an hour from a significant number of family. I way preferred taking Christmas Eve off rather than Christmas – I could leave early in the morning to go to my family, spend all of Christmas Eve (which is when my family had the big Christmas dinner), get up in the morning to enjoy Christmas with a bunch of nieces and nephews, eat leftovers at lunch, and leave about 2 p.m. to be back at work on Christmas. We could choose between being paid double time or getting 2 different days off whenever we wanted, which could work out well for people who wanted a different paid holiday. Because of this double-time provision, I always volunteered to work July 4, Labor Day, New Year’s – none of those holidays means squat to me.

      Second, if an employee didn’t work a holiday (any holiday) one year, then anybody who did work it took precedence in getting it off the next year. Depending on the holiday (I think this might have applied only to Thanksgiving and Christmas) you never had to work both in the same year.

      Third, seniority had nothing to do with it, except I think if a new employee came on board in, say, October, they very well could have gotten the short end of the stick because everybody else’s plans were set, but if that ever happened it wasn’t frequent.

      Fourth, children had nothing to do with it.

  9. Captain+dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP2 (hassled about time off) Agreeing to cancel it could turn out to be a good strategic / tactical move if it’s visible to management…

    I am often in the same position as a childless person without family and end up with the scraps of whatever time off isn’t already booked – none in July, every other Tuesday in February or similar.

    That’s just because society values people with children more, it may be taboo to say it but it is true in my experience. By operating along with these “values” even though I personally disagree with it, it’s an easy way to be more highly valued as I’ve ‘respected’ the expectations…

    1. Raw Flour*

      I won’t doubt your statement that this has worked for you personally, but I disagree with the advice to change plans for your personal time because it looks better to management. I know there is a wide gulf between how things should be and how things actually are – but, “my personal time, even as a childless person, is my own” is a principle I’ve stuck to even when it has raised eyebrows. FWIW, if it has negatively affected my career path, I haven’t noticed.

      1. Chocolate Teapot*

        If a co-worker says “But I’ve got family” meaning (young) children, I usually retort “So do I” (elderly parents).

        1. Luna*

          “And you decided to have those children, along with all its difficulties and compromises you have to make.”

            1. Duck Jumper*

              No, it doesn’t. The comment is a very straightforward remark pointing out that parents should not expect non-parents to concede their plans to someone who chose to have children. Having children does complicate life in terms of making plans and sacrifices. Nothing about that comment suggested that having children is in any way ‘a hobby.’

        2. Other Alice*

          “I also have family” (siblings my age). Zero need to add more info or change your plans if you don’t want to.

        3. The Original K.*

          Me too. I’ve had people act surprised – “you do?” “I do! Did you think I emerged from Zeus’s head, fully formed?”

              1. EmmaPoet*

                It should be interesting- you, Zeus, and his multitude of love children. Hopefully you have a couple of nice half-siblings. Hera’s probably going to be in a bad mood, though.

    2. bamcheeks*

      It’s not so much that it’s taboo as it’s just wrong. Lots and lots of people are forced to leave the labour market when they don’t want to because they can’t balance caring needs and work responsibilities. That’s not an argument for people without caring responsibilities being unable to use their leave entitlement, but one for managers and workplaces to figure out a better solution that doesn’t shift the burden onto other co-workers or without adequate compensation.

    3. Workerbee*

      See cncx’s post below about daring to try to take off one time, after the official Christmas days were over, and the flack they received (and ended up caving into) despite years of working over holiday breaks so others “with families” could take them.

      You don’t get respect for putting yourself below people with children in the holiday hierarchy, or overtime, or salary. You get an expectation that you’ll always do so.

    4. Dinwar*

      This goes back to the LW yesterday who had issues setting boundaries. If you make yourself the go-to person when anyone cancels it’s easy to get stuck in that role–after all, you’re more valuable as a backup plan than you are as someone actually building their career.

      I mean yeah, sometimes it makes sense. Sometimes the person asking has done you some favors, or you’re in a situation where no one else possibly can cover it, or whatever. But if that’s the default, it’s a real failure on the part of the manager. It means that your organization has a single system that, if it fails, can shut you down. Any reasonably well-run organization has backup plans and contingencies built in.

  10. Captain+dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP3 (networking) 84% of statistics are made up on the spot (or in this case – mindlessly repeated without any critical thinking).

  11. Melissa*

    LW4 – I agree that 3-5 minutes is perfect. I’m with the US Department of State and our assignments rotate every 2-3 years so we are constantly interviewing or being interviewed for roles. This timeframe shows you are professional but not overeager and doesn’t make the hiring managers feel rushed. (And with Teams, everyone also gets a notification that someone started the meeting.)

    1. FashionablyEvil*

      3-5 minutes also gives you a cushion in case Zoom or Teams doesn’t want to launch at that exact moment.

        1. Jack Straw from Wichita*

          I always did a test call with a friend (or using one of my other email addresses and an iPad or my phone to connect) using whatever platform it was.

          Does my name show up the way I want it to? Do I need to download any extra software or drivers to get the system to work? How is the lighting where I plan to sit for the interview? Where do I place the laptop/camera so the video is angled how I want it? (I usually use something to elevate it otherwise it’s an unflattering angle.)

          Figuring out that kind of thing beforehand always put my mind at ease on the day of.

      1. seeeeeps*

        Then I will add mine! Even 0-2 minutes wouldn’t concern me. I’m more concerned about getting the rest of the interview panel on there on time (like herding cats, I tell you).

        1. This is It, Really*

          I bet that Teams setting that pings when someone enters the waiting room can be turned off, if it irritates you.

    2. Geek5508*

      Not for video interviews per se, but I frequently login to Zoom meetings or Webinars. I call in using my personal phone so I can use my bluetooth enabled hearing aids to hear the meeting. I always login no later than 10 minutes before, in case there is some glitch setting up audio on my end

  12. cncx*

    OP2 it’s wild because i have basically worked all christmas and new years for the last twelve years and the one year i needed time off on December 26th i got crap about it from the coworker who had to cover for me from his home office. Because i’m a single woman and don’t have kids i’m not allowed to have any kind of holiday priorities. I absolutely despise this line of reasoning.
    No advice, just commiseration.

    1. Luna*

      I personally never minded much working Christmas. Partly because I had no plans, another because you got extra pay for working on a holiday. And for any retail job, hours on Dec 24th (when Christmas is celebrated in Germany) are drastically shortened: most places are closed at 2PM. And Dec 25th and Dec 26th are holidays, so everything (except hospitals, some emergency places, gas stations, and hotels) is closed, anyway.

      1. cncx*

        oh, the eleven years i was on call i didn’t mind either; it didn’t make sense to take off to take off when my family was spread out. But no one remembered that the one time i worked the 25th but needed off the 26th… I work in IT so there’s on call hours regardless of public holidays.
        I wound up working on the 26th because my coworker was so very put out that me, the childless one, had something to do around christmas, but basically running everyone’s tickets between 8pm and midnight instead of business hours.

      2. Cait*

        My mother was a manager at her office and had an employee who quite literally came into her office on January 2nd with her calendar out, ready to tell my mom what holidays she was taking off so she could get them first. Luckily, my mother explained that this wasn’t a first-come-first-serve situation because then she’d have a line at her door at 8am every January 2nd. She told her that if she got Thanksgiving off last year then someone else would get it this year. If she got Christmas off last year then someone else would get it this year, etc. (it was a job where at least 1 of the 4 employees had to be available every day including holidays). The employee was not too pleased.

    2. Daisy*

      This is the problem when nice people put themselves last on a regular basis. The rest of the office expects they prefer working the holiday (or dealing with the horrible client, or whatever) and they don’t count it as an imposition.
      You need to be vocal about getting something in return (I’ll work Christmas but I get the first week in June off, no matter what) and be very firm about following through.

  13. Waving not Drowning*

    Op3 – I’ve had a quick count. My working career spans around 35 years. In that I’ve worked for 11 different organisations (a few were temping). On a quick count 60% of my roles (higher if you count temporary transfers/secondments in my current organisation) have come about via networking.

    I do live in a small population area – not quite everyone is related to everyone – but a small city.

    1. Tinkerbell*

      I think my work history has about the same percentages. It gets muddier when you get to the “I let it be known I was looking so my friend asked them if they were hiring and they gave him the application to pass on to me”…

      1. JessicaTate*

        Yeah, I think there are more gray areas than that (purely made-up) statistic accounts for. For instance, I’ve made a bunch of hires where there was a job ad, the person did go through the hiring process, but if you track back to how they learned about the job ad/opening — it was from our mutual professional network. I let people know I was hiring, they recommended person X or Y and encouraged them to enter the process. So, there was arguably networking involved, and the recommendation of the person in my network helped — but it also wasn’t the deciding factor or only route.

        Add to that internships that convert into real jobs, internal hires, and the other circuitous ways things happen… it’s just not a statistic that’s as simple as Door A or Door B.

        1. JustaTech*

          Right, or the people who find a job posting and apply, but then remember that they know someone at the company and reach out to network with them as well. If they get the job is that networking or the posting?

          Or if you got an internship through your network and then came back to the same company years later through a posting but with just a little “oh, hi, I remember you”, is that a posting or a networking thing?

  14. clewgarnet*

    Re no. 2, this is where having a multicultural office really helps! Last time I was in a job that needed coverage over Christmas, I was in a team that was a fairly equal split between culturally Muslim and culturally Christian. The Muslims were happy to cover Christmas, and the Christians were happy to cover Eid.

    1. Jules the First*

      This! We also have a policy of you can take time before the holiday OR time after the holiday but not both except by special arrangement. I’m lucky in that we do close the office for the actual holidays, though sometimes there is a need for cover in that period (because some of our biggest clients don’t close) and in that case I’ll ask for a volunteer to join me as on-call cover.

      1. Agile Phalanges*

        My boss is the only person who can cover me, and this is our system for Thanksgiving this year–he’s taking the few days prior to the holiday off, and I’m taking the few days after. This does mean I’ll be arriving mid-day ON Thanksgiving day, but at least we both get an extended time off instead of just one of us. (He’s taking other time off other times, so I ALSO get the week between Christmas and New Years off, so getting the “worse” shift for Thanksgiving seems more than fair. And it’s the first year at the company for both of us, so no real seniority or pattern of who had it last year to factor in.)

  15. Luna*

    Sometimes, I am just really glad that I am very pop-culturally-ignorant about the newer stuff, despite being on the internet a lot.

    LW2 – “I booked it off in July because I am well-aware that Christmas and that particular time of year is an annual occurence, and its dates to do not change, so it’s not a surprise when it rolls around. Exactly what I’m going to be doing is none of your business. Your failure to plan ahead is not my problem.”

    And my only disagreement with Allison is on the “I really can’t”. I dislike using the term ‘Can’t’ when the more appropriate term is ‘Won’t’. ‘Can’t’ always feels like it conveys that it *could* be done, but it has to be done by someone else. A ‘won’t’ just makes it clear that it’s not happening.

    LW4 – About five minutes is what I do. It gives me time to get there, be ‘early’, and still have a few minutes to double-check that everything is working as it should, as well as some leeway, if some snafu happens.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      Oh, I use “can’t”. “Can’t” sounds like there are circumstanced beyond my control that prevent it. “Won’t” sounds like I might if they just pestered me enough.

      1. Luna*

        If you keep pestering when someone says ‘Won’t’, you get yelled at. =)
        If you say ‘Can’t’, they could go to your manager and spin some lie or what-not about oh, you’d totally change the plans, but you can’t, but they are the manager, so they can totally do it, right, so now your plans have been changed because your manager changed it based on the words of this coworker.

        1. Banana*

          Uhm, if someone I worked with went to my manager with a fictional story and got them to change my vacation plans, I’d still be taking the time off, and I’d be looking for a new job and doing absolutely nothing to make my coworker or my boss’s lives easier on the meantime. If that’s a real possibility for you, yikes.

        2. I should really pick a name*

          How does can’t vs won’t affect whether you manager can alter your plans? I’m getting a bit of disconnect here.

          If a manager is going to override your plans, I don’t think whether used used can’t vs won’t has any effect.

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            If my manager arbitrarily changes my plans after I had reserved the time off I would consider that a resume generating event. My tolerance for arbitrary power flex on management’s part is next to zero.

            I have had managers make me stay late on Fridays when I was due to head out to a campsite after work, and my spouse and I had to set up after dark. This upset me a lot, and I started taking the first day of even a weekend trip off because sudden overtime and weekend getaways are not compatible.

            In general, if I or my spouse has already committed cash based on my reservation of time off, I’m not changing it later, no matter how much they whine. I’m not losing money because other people won’t plan.

            1. I should really pick a name*

              I’m referring to Luna suggesting that saying “won’t” somehow prevents someone from going to a manager to change your plans.

        3. Allonge*

          Well, my manager can’t change my private plans (she can instruct me to if there is a work thing but otherwise, not).

          Totally use what works for you, but I can’t also stands for I can’t without dramatically inconvenienceing myself or without ending [relationship], not just I am physically incapable of doing it. Won’t is pretty agressive, whihc may or may not be what is needed but I would not start with that.

        4. Office Lobster DJ*

          In my opinion, the same person who would take a “can’t” to the manager is the same person who would take a “won’t” to the manager as “She COULD change it but she’s choosing to be DIFFICULT. Not being a team player!”

        5. biobotb*

          I don’t see how using “won’t” would head off the scenario you propose in a way that “can’t” wouldn’t.

    2. Banana*

      I use “can’t” for no a lot. I have time off next week and I have family flying in for it. The get-together was planned six months ago. At the time, an event I’m heavily involved in was scheduled for July. Some things happened and that event is now happening the week after next, which means a lot of deliverables are falling due while I’m out. I’ve gotten hints that maybe I could move my time off (and I do a lot of low-plans staycations that I’m happy to shift so it’s not a weird to wonder if that’s possible.) But this time I can’t, and can’t is the right word.

      But I also use “can’t” or “that’s not possible” in situations where it is my decision, I have decided no, and I don’t want a debate about it. Especially when the request is ridiculous or inappropriate. I’m not interested in being technically and semantically accurate, I’m interested in nipping the line of questioning in the bud by being firm and final.

    3. I should really pick a name*

      That’s the exact opposite of my interpretation.

      To me, “can’t” means it cannot be changed, “won’t” means I choose not to change it.

      1. Heather*

        Yeah, that’s the literal meaning of the words so Luna’s wording is just likely to confuse the issue I think.

    4. Marketing Unicorn Ninja*

      ‘Can’t’ sounds to my ear like, ‘This is an impossibility.’

      ‘Won’t’ sounds like a petulant two-year-old who has been asked to do something she doesn’t want to do.

      YMMV, but I’ll always err on being polite but firm with my colleagues.

    5. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      I agree with you Luna. I use won’t or don’t want to instead of can’t because boundary-pushers always try to “problem solve” when you CAN’T: oh, let’s look at your budget and see if I can help you prioritize better so you CAN; let me look at your calendar to help you schedule better so you CAN; if I find a solution for you, then you CAN…etc. They make it a literal/logical argument that you are physically able to do the thing they want, so now you have to.

      They can’t argue as easily with won’t or don’t want to because what are they going to claim, I DO want to?

      1. I should really pick a name*

        Ah, that sounds like the difference between saying “I can’t” and “I can’t because X”. I was assuming the former.

  16. April*

    Oh god, I had something similar to LW2 happen once.

    Nearly every April since 2014, I’ve flown across the country to small convention in Atlanta. We don’t even take up half of a hotel! It’s literally just a few hundred of us, many of whom are close friends online because we met through the same fandom, and it’s the only time I get to see those friends in person all year.

    Because it’s every year, I usually ask for the time off in January. We have 24/7/365 coverage at that desk.

    One year, a coworker’s 30th birthday fell on that weekend.

    She mentioned it Every. Single. Time. I saw her. For three months. “I wish I could have that Saturday off. It’s my 30th birthday. Are you sure you can’t cover my shift?” basically. And I kept responding, “Yeah, sorry, I’ll be in Atlanta that whole weekend.”

    The *week before* she did a pity party at me again and I mentioned, *again*, “that’s too bad, but I’ll be in at Atlanta” and she finally actually listened to what I’d been saying, for MONTHS: “Oh, you’re not even going to be in town?”

    No! I’m going to be IN ATLANTA. From Thursday until Monday.

    She called in sick with “a dental emergency” that Saturday.

    1. Luna*

      “I spent my 30th birthday unemployed, at home, in lockdown.”

      Though your comment reminds me of a former coworker of my mom’s. Said coworker’s birthday was like the 27th or so of December or so, so she just *haaaad* to have off from Dec 27th until Jan 2nd (25th and 26th December are holidays in Germany, so offices are closed) because she just had to travel *so* far to home (less than 6 hours by train) and needed time to come back and all.
      Every year.
      Until her birthday fell on a Sunday, so there was no need for her to get time off because it meant she had Saturday before to travel, and the next week day was a holiday, so no need to take time off there for travelling. She did not like hearing that. (But then, this coworker was not good… she manipulated, until she got something changed in her contract that was actually illegal to get done. By a lawyer. In a law firm… yes, my mom got outta there.)

  17. Harper the Other One*

    I knew sometime my devoted hours of YouTube would come in handy! I’m actually pretty sad for 2nd Try that this has happened because it’s an awful situation all around.

    I do agree that the guys made the right decision parting ways with Ned. His whole YouTube a brick is based on being the adoring family man and that’s… not going to be a successful thing any more. They obviously knew for a while before the announcement – Ned is no longer in the opening and wasn’t in their latest merch ad – so I suspect they’ve been bashing out buyout, etc. since he was invested in the company.

    While I won’t say Alex is blameless, I do put a TON of blame on Ned, who was boss and part owner of the company. Plus, he handled a lot of company finances at the beginning so would have been heavily involved in deciding things like project budgets, raises, etc. It may have been consensual but the emphasis on that feels super icky when there’s such a power imbalance – Alex started as a production manager, not a producer, for 2nd Try and Ned would have had a lot of input into assignments and promotions.

    Their videos involve having a lot of trust in the team around you, and their office is small and close-knit. For that reason, I suspect Alex will leave as well – even if they don’t decide to give her a severance package to leave, it won’t be good for anyone, including her, if she stays.

  18. Hiring Mgr*

    This must be the season for “consensual” relationships causing havoc because a very similar scenario just occurred with the coach of the Boston Celtics

    1. ecnaseener*

      So similar in fact that I was very confused when I first came across a mention of a “former buzzfeed employee” being fired for cheating with his employee – I was like wow, buzzfeed to basketball coach, that’s quite the career path!

  19. Blarg*

    A caveat on the virtual interview thing: give yourself more time if you haven’t used the platform before or haven’t used it in a while. You don’t want to end up having to download or update a program, or fight with your pop up blocker that’s trying to prevent you from launching it within a browser. As an interviewer, I’d 100% rather have people be early than late.

    Interviewers, if you’re using the same link for multiple back to back interviews (which is great cause the panel doesn’t have to leave and come back), just make sure the waiting room is set. Cause … that can be awkward.

    1. JustaTech*

      Yes to technical issues! Yesterday I had a Zoom scheduled (as the host) and went I went to start the meeting (early) I got a “you haven’t logged in recently, we’ve sent a code to your email” which of course got held up by my email system.
      (The other person no-showed again, so it ended up not mattering, but I was still glad I had extra time.)

  20. CharlieBrown*

    The networking stats are just another figure that gets bandied about without people really thinking about their source, or bothering to find it out.

    The same thing has happened with steps. Everybody thinks you need to get 10,000 steps a day. The source? When a Japanese company started marketing pedometers in Japan in the 1960s, their marketing was basically “how do you know you’re getting your 10k steps?”

    When I researched this, the only medical research I could easily find said that 7,000 to 8,000 steps are the number you need to reach to have an effect on your cardiac health. So yes, please be careful with statistics that are just bandied about. People love to quote numbers, but don’t love to quote sources.

    1. Johanna Cabal*

      Reminds me of how in elementary school we were having a health lesson and the teacher told us all about how “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

      Turns out that phrase came from a PR expert hired by a bacon and eggs producer to come up with a selling point for their products.

      Going back to the Hidden Job Market. I think that’s more of a senior level thing. My company almost never advertises for jobs above director, instead, relying on recommendations. Selling the Hidden Job Market to people early in their career feels scummy to me.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Reminds me of how in elementary school we were having a health lesson and the teacher told us all about how “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

        I always took this as a truism, but I also refer to the first meal of the day as “breakfast” no matter when or what I’m actually eating.

    2. londonedit*

      Here in the UK, the NHS has a whole campaign about making sure you eat five portions of different fruit and veg a day. Now, the actual truth is that we should all be eating at least 10 portions of fruit and veg a day, but research showed that if you said that to the average British person, their response would be ‘Ten?? Bloody hell, there’s no way I can eat that many portions of fruit and veg every day. No way’. And they wouldn’t even try. But five portions seems doable to most people, so people do make the effort, and it means they’re at least getting a few portions of fruit and veg every day instead of just not bothering at all. Other countries have different recommendations – eight or 10 or whatever. But it was decided that the point at which the average Brit would think ‘bugger that for a game of soldiers’ was anything over five.

  21. Dust Bunny*

    Ideally employers with coverage needs should put some energy into ensuring that time off at desirable times of the year is equitably distributed.

    I mean, the LW says they don’t usually take time off and haven’t seen their extended family in two years, so this could very well be time equitably distributed, but it just isn’t the coworker’s year to get the time off.

  22. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

    I see someone was faster than me on the Try Guys scandal, I was going to comment on it in the open thread. Oh, well.

  23. Dinwar*

    #4: I’ve been involved in a number of Zoom interviews as an interviewer. I’d say 5 minutes is plenty of time. The interview panel is going to be spending some of the time prior to the meeting discussing the interview, reviewing the resume, testing our cameras to make sure you could see us, and the like–stuff we don’t want you to be involved in. Interviews are as intimidatingly to the interviewer as to the interviewee!

    Our system allowed us to see that you were on, but not let you into the meeting until we were ready. So even if you tried to log in early, we wouldn’t let you in anyway.

  24. Esmeralda*

    OP #4. TEST to ensure that zoom is working properly about 30 minutes ahead, though, so you have time to fix any glitches. Check your camera, microphone, speakers.

    And be ready with a backup in case zoom crashes for the whole country again. (Phone, google meet, even facetime…)

    1. Susan Scott*

      I ditto the “5 minutes early”. Also, BEFORE that 5-minute start, you can use Zoom’s test call to make sure your camera and audio device are working properly. Just search for “zoom test call”.

      BTW – I use the Zoom test call even if my upcoming interview is not on Zoom – it’s a convenient way to validate that my camera is working and my laptop is recognizing my headset.

  25. BlueWolf*

    #2: my department also has some restrictions regarding holiday leave because year end is a busy time (accounting). It never seems to be that busy for me though. I haven’t taken off the last couple Christmases because my family and my partner’s family all are far away and we weren’t traveling due to the pandemic. This might be the first year where we both have jobs that have paid leave and we could actually travel together. I just hope I don’t get beat to it. In theory, since I’m fully remote I could work from my family’s house, but then I have to bring my computer and it would be a big hassle.

  26. Hiring Mgr*

    If I have an interview scheduled and I get the notification that someone has joined early, I assume they’re just logging in to check camera, connections, etc. I’ll then wait ’til the scheduled time of the meeting and join.

    It’s not annoying and wouldn’t come across as odd or anything (to me at least). Sometimes people log in, set it and forget it and then come back at the time of the call.

    1. AnonAnon*

      I feel the same here. I just assume good intentions, and interpret their early presence as “They’re being prudent about possible tech issues and logged in early to check.”

      I also don’t feel annoyed if candidates came early for an in-person interview either. The receptionist would just ask the candidate to have a seat in the lobby and wait until the scheduled time.

  27. Resigned Manager*

    LW2 – holiday time off
    When I started managing an existing team, I had an employee that would request her holiday time the FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY to ensure not only she had time off — but the whole two weeks of Christmas and New Years. Which all of my employees wanted BTW. (They we’re long standing employees at a company with a very generous vacation policy)

    After 2 years having to do the coverage myself, I instituted a new policy. No holiday vacation can be submitted/accepted until I requested their holiday time off preferences. Then we needed to have at least one person in office from each of our 2 sites. If there were any conflicts or days where everyone preferred to have to have off, I would request volunteers to work. And I usually offer that person an extra off the books vacation day for the first week of January or something like that. I also outlined that everyone had to participate in coverage, so it was really unlikely that someone could have the whole 2 weeks off leaving their teammates to hold the bag. Once I made it about the team and not about individual approvals/declines the drama around holiday vacation time really went down.

  28. Veryanon*

    #3 – I’ve gotten some jobs through networking, and some jobs through answering job postings/ads. It’s probably about evenly distributed between the two. I’ve been in my current job for 6 years and I found it through a job posting on LinkedIn. So while networking is valuable and important, it is definitely not the only or even main way to find an opportunity. If you are in an active job search, make sure you are fully exploring all avenues.

  29. Nathan*

    LW4 – I work in the private sector and I conduct video interviews nearly every week. Most of my interviewees show up within one minute of the starting time either way (i.e. one minute early to one minute late), and I do not remember or care.

    Also, to maybe help calm your nerves, in my zoom interview four years ago I had some tech problems at the last minute and wound up being three minutes late. The interviewer didn’t even mention it and the interview went well (and I got hired). I can’t promise that all interviewers will be as chill as mine was (people get obsessed with all sorts of things), but I encourage you to not obsess over it, if possible :)

    Best of luck!

  30. too many dogs*

    LW#3 I have been hiring people for over 40 years, and NONE of the people I have hired involved networking. And I work for a local government agency, which is usually full of nepotism, friends-of-friends getting jobs, and more.

  31. Rebecca*

    I don’t know much about the Try Guys, but if this is true: “His whole persona was centered around his wife (who is featured often on the channel) and being a family man,” then I could see firing him once this became public, or if it was at risk of being public, regardless of how consensual the relationship was or the power dynamic (not to disregard that, it’s important, but even if those aspects weren’t there). If part of his job is to present this image, and the success of the videos is dependant on this image, then once that image is gone, he can no longer perform the job as required. If the firing is for this reason, and not because the relationship itself was problematic, then firing the other party wouldn’t be relevant.

    1. EmmaPoet*

      Ned was the only Try Guy married from the beginning back at Buzzfeed, and he definitely portrayed himself as a doting husband. It was a running gag that he’d say “my wife” at least three times per video. It’s been part of his brand since day one.

    2. Mrs Doubtful*

      They were literally selling figurines of Ned that said “my wife” when you pushed a button.
      It was certainly part of his brand.

  32. SIM Card Erased*

    The parental entitlement around summers and holidays HAS TO END. You are not special because you have children and think you deserve those prime weeks off. The rest of us-those who stay late to cover for you when you leave early to get your sick kids, or pick them up, or take them to practices and extra cirriculars? We have families as well. We like time off too.

    1. Emily*

      This isn’t a coworker problem, it’s a manager problem, and that’s who to take it up with. Also, you don’t know what conversations your coworkers have had with your employer. For all you know, they said when they interviewed “I can’t take this job unless I get x weeks off and am able to leave early”, and from their perspective, doing those things is just asking their employer to make good on what was promised to them.

      And there are other workplaces that have different ways of allocating vacations – or where coverage just isn’t an issue the same way – and so if that’s something important to you, it’s absolutely something to bring up when interviewing the same way that many parents bring up their own scheduling needs and are willing to turn down jobs and make career-limiting moves in order to get something that works for their lifestyle. You don’t need to be a parent to be able to prioritize those things when you’re job-searching.

      1. Deanna Troi*

        If parents just talked to their managers about needing time off, then I don’t think that most of the comments in this thread would have been made. But many of the concerns are about people who are getting pressure directly from their coworkers, in the form of requests to change their leave, snide remarks, or insinuations that their family isn’t real because they aren’t parents. So, no, this isn’t just a manager issue, and coworkers who do those things are definitely acting entitled.

        1. Emily*

          The comment I was responding to didn’t say anything like that – it was “I cover for my coworkers constantly and also can’t take the vacation I want.” If that’s happening, you talk to your manager and draw your boundaries and if they can’t accommodate them, you leave. (But “my coworkers are super annoying and they hassle me and they won’t stop” also becomes a manager issue, if you have talked to you manager and they haven’t shut it down.)

    2. allathian*

      Everyone deserves to get time off, whether or not they have kids. If parents get to leave early at your job, when non-parents don’t, that’s a management and organizational problem. It’s never okay for one group of employees to regularly have to cover for another group, regardless of the reason.

      That said, for holidays I must say that I somewhat disagree, in the sense that adult family members can celebrate without you, but kids can’t be left on their own for very long. Parents, or should I say moms, are already penalized enough at work for having dependents, without adding resentful coworkers to that mix.

  33. Gigi*

    For LW#1, I’m seeing a few people uncertain about Alex and whether or not she should be fired/walk away from her job as a producer.

    If this were a regular office job, I’d say it makes total sense to fire Ned and let Alex keep her job due to the power imbalance. But since the Try Guys are in the spotlight, it may be logistically more awkward. Time for a breakdown for those who aren’t familiar with the youtubing ecosystem!

    Their personalities are the main selling point for the audience, to the point where both the main talent and the crew are the faces of the main product. As of now, people are keeping track of who’s unfollowing who on multiple social media sites because they’re attached to the personalities. Ned absolutely had to go; even if he’d had an affair with someone of equal or higher standing in the company, his whole gimmick was being a squeaky clean family man and that’s down the drain now. The social media mob is already tearing him to shreds.

    Alex is getting a more mixed reception from social media, but there’s enough backlash that either she or the Try Guys decide to end her employment because of the negative pressure from social media. People generally feel awful for Alex’s ex-fiancee, though.

    A side note, the Try Guys put their podcast on hiatus for a week to record a new episode that’s going to be part apology, part psudo-press conference about how they’re planning on move forward. There’s quite a few youtube channels that center on youtuber news that are breaking down the minutiae of everything that happened and profiting off of “the drama”. This is definitely going to be an ongoing-coverage type of thing for a bit in the youtube sphere.

    1. Tuesday*

      Honestly, anyone who cheats on their partner like that (with an affair that it sounds like was happening for a while) is exhibiting such a lack of sound judgment that I would not want them working for me. Obviously they should investigate to see if she was coerced in any way, but if it was consensual, that’s icky.

      1. Dinwar*

        I’m not as hard-nosed. What you do off the clock isn’t my business. If you want to cheat on your wife, that’s between you and her, just don’t bring it to work. But my line of work doesn’t rely on the perception that we’re squeaky-clean; in fact, a vice or two is expected, especially among the lower level workers but it’s not uncommon in management (a LOT of marriages don’t survive my line of work). As long as it doesn’t affect your ability to do your job, no one cares; if it does, we fire you. If this guy was in a non-public-facing role and there wasn’t the power disparity, I’d argue it’s not my business.

        The issue here is that the guy marketed his image, and that image is gone. This is the equivalent of ruining a run at a factory, or worse ruining the machine that makes the stuff. It’s a direct impact on the business model, directly detrimental to marketability. Their only way to save face is to fire the guy. This is the equivalent of my company firing me if I royally screw up hazardous waste disposal–someone’s head absolutely has to roll, if for no other reason than to show that the company takes the issue seriously.

      2. Starbuck*

        Right, I’m fascinated by this because he HAD to know how poorly this would go when people found out – did he manage to delude himself that he could hide it forever? Did he think the blowback wouldn’t be this bad? What were you thinking????

        1. Jerusha*

          My reaction has been split about evenly between “Ned, you /censored/ glassbowl” and “Ned, you absolute *moron*”

          I mean, given his whole Very Married Man image, even a quiet announcement that he and Ariel were separating would have gone very badly. To a) have an affair b) with his employee c) at a business he co-founded and co-owned d) that provided most* of his family’s income? The range of possible outcomes starts at “catastrophic” and goes rapidly downhill from there.

          *Ariel (Ned’s wife) is, or has been, an interior designer, but I don’t know how much she’s been working at her own business vs. her work for Second Try

      3. PleaseNo*

        I highly recommend “Chumplady.com”, or LACGAL, for those partners who were duped by a cheater or if you ever feel the need to take a cheater’s “side.”
        Cheater = awful excuse for a person

    2. Ellis Bell*

      This is exactly why he had a higher duty of care to her and the team (but I suppose if you’re going to be that careless to your wife…). All of this was forseeable.

  34. Rolly*

    On #4 – the time AAM said is good. Some other advice:

    Close down all unnecessary programs some time (at least an hour) before the call and/or reboot your computer to make sure it is running well.

    If the call is on a platform you use, create and login another call 15 or 20 minutes ahead to check everything. If it’s on a platform you don’t use but can get access too, try this even earlier. And if it’s platform you just cannot get on, try a self-call on Zoom as a surrogate.

    1. cubone*

      I highly recommend finding a friend who uses the platform your interview is on (if possible – or have someone make an account) and testing it. My partner had a Teams interview and had never used it before. I did for work so I gave him a quick test call and though I can’t remember the reasons now, he had a terrible time connecting to Teams. The test gave him