The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the business lunch is slumping of late: The new trend, it seems, is for workers to eat meals at their desk brought from home instead, a development the Journal endorses as being healthier, less expensive, and more efficient to boot.
While those may very well be true, they are all secondary to furthering someone’s career, and lunch is central to that mission. Lunch is the one time a day a person has to connect with someone who could potentially connect them to their next job, and doing away with the ritual for the sake of saving a few minutes of time is a grievous mistake—especially for younger workers.
What younger workers often fail to realize is that the majority of good jobs are handed off to someone who has a connection of some sort to the people doing the hiring. The notion that a group of earnest, well-intentioned men and women will diligently look through a couple hundred resumes of sheer strangers for a posted job opening is quaint and unrealistic. People want to hire talented, hard-working and—most of all—compatible people, but none of these traits are easy to discern on a resume or even in an afternoon of meetings.