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How Not to Network


In our career section in this year’s salary survey, a number of readers asked for advice on how to network. Here at Genome Technology headquarters, we thought it might be more fun to consider the top 10 ways not to network.

10. At a conference, get to every session five minutes late and leave five minutes early so you can avoid any opportunity to talk to others.

 9.  Don’t allow for downtime during networking sessions. Bring your laptop and bench experiments with you so you can work instead of making small talk.

 8.  Gather all potential networking sources into one group e-mail account. Be sure to copy them on any e-mails you send to friends about how much you hate your boss.

 7.  Wear your camouflage-print lab coat and your favorite balaclava to scientist networking events. If anyone approaches you, feign invisibility.

 6.  Stand by your poster at your appointed time. Respond to all inquiries about your work in Pig Latin.

 5.  When people attempt to hand you a business card, recoil in horror as if they were offering you bubonic plague.

 4.  It’s too hard to remember the names of all the new people you meet. Instead of worrying about it, call them all “Humphrey” and tell them you’re better with faces.

 3.  During cocktail hour, share with as many scientists as possible the latest tropical parasite you picked up … and might still harbor.

 2.  Find an artificial tree in the lunch room and stand behind it as you scarf down your meal while standing up.

 1.  Before attending a social function, hire a bodyguard named Biff. Tell him that it’s his job to make sure no one gets close enough to talk to you at the event.


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