The dinner table is supposed to be a politics-, money- and religion-free zone. Acceptable topics include the weather, Disney movies, bunnies (except this kind), flowers (but not this kind) and the changes at Brazen Careerist, of course. But what’s good for the dinner table is not necessarily what’s best for developing a professional network. Many […]
The dinner table is supposed to be a . Acceptable topics include the weather, Disney movies, bunnies (), flowers () and the , of course.
But what’s good for the dinner table is not necessarily what’s best for developing a professional network.
Many churches, mosques, synagogues and temples of all sorts run professional networks. A search through LinkedIn groups for the terms “church” and “professional,” for example, yields 159 groups (related search ).
“Mormons like to hire other Mormons,” noted the journalist and author in his 2007 New York Times op-ed , “and those who lose their jobs can count on the church networks to find them openings elsewhere.”
Woodward may be right, but singling out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints could be misleading. Often asking neighbors in the pews — whatever the faith group or denomination — for job tips or for informational interviews is a great strategy, and a perk that is probably endemic only to faith communities.
However effective faith-based rolodexes are for landing jobs, religious networking can and should continue after one is hired. I’m not suggesting you , just that you remain open to having a respectful conversation about faith with your colleagues.
Those conversations represent not only tremendous learning opportunities, but have also helped me develop better listening skills and learn more about some of my favorite coworkers. (How could sharing experiences about what we hold most dear do anything but bring us together?)
It goes without saying that it’s vital to be mature and respectful when discussing controversial issues in the work place, but respect and maturity should be best practices even when discussing work-related topics. “Nothing like religious blasphemy in the workplace to bring employees together,” of character Michael Scott.
Michael Scott is a good example of what not to do, but maybe there is a proper time for his approach to the office — a family rather than a team. Let’s continue to be careful about respecting coworkers, but if we relaxed the politics and religion ban just a little, we have the world to gain.
writes on religion , amongst other publications.