Intuition & the Sociological Imagination (2)

There’s one more thing I want to add about my reflections on the idea of the sociological imagination (i.e. seeing the connections between the social, institutional, personal, and historical dimensions of people’s lives) and this time it’s related to my current job hunt.

I’ve often been told directly and read about the importance of networking when it comes to looking for a job and/or developing freelance opportunities, but here’s what I’ve found to be the somewhat ironic consequence of being an intuitive observer of people.

When combining this intuition with being a highly-educated sociologist, even seemingly simple professional social interactions can become frustratingly layered to the point that observations can be obstructive. 

To put it in terms of the well-known Johari Window concept (, I’m never quite sure whether something I’m observing (if accurate) is known to that person and/or whether they believe it’s not known to anyone else.

By the way, regarding the accuracy issue, after all these years, I’ve stopped doubting my perceptions. Also, I probably should’ve trusted them more and at an earlier age, because I would’ve avoided some personal and professional frustrations.

Quick tangent… There’s the idea that advertising and/or marketing involves some level of emotional manipulation (I’m not an expert, I’m simply stating that I’m aware of this perspective) and I feel that this applies to networking too. I don’t claim to be perfect in the areas of openness and honesty, but I’ve almost always felt discomfort with deliberately shaping or reframing my narrative for personal gain.

This is further complicated when (once again using Johari’s window concepts), the other person might, at the very least, not want anyone to know or be aware of something (we all have these) that’s blatantly obvious to me.

Is this possibly somewhat idealistic? Yes. But, it’s not naivety, because I’m fully aware of the potential implications of these types of decisions and I’ve borne the costs on more than one occasion.

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