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A World Ruled by Connections

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Do me a favor; take a look at the video above:

What do you notice about it? I mean, sure, it’s an advertisement and they’re trying to sell a robust address book application. However, there is a point to be made here. The person the ad follows, what does he do? He is not really shown doing much of anything in a professional sense. There is one meeting, and you get no sense of what this guy does or can do. However, the one thing he does do well is make connections.

We see him laughing, talking, even boxing. While it is likely this person is very intelligent and very talented, the fact is he seems to get ahead primarily through knowing who his contacts know and making connections. In short, it wasn’t his talent or intelligence that got him to the top at the end, it was his ability to forge connections.

Most Jobs Are Found Through Connections
If you are a recent college graduate, you probably heard the same tired story I’ve heard: if you have your degree it will open so many doors. If you are like me, you are probably coming to the realization that that is simply untrue. You will probably find resume after resume being sent out without a response. If you are lucky, you will get a rejection notice and can at least know you should no longer hold out any hope.

If this is the first time you are hearing the tidbit “it is not what you know, it is who you know,” then you probably fall into this recent college graduate category. This old expression is not simply the cynical cry of those who cannot make the system work for them; it is a statement of fact.

Of all new positions, roughly 70 percent are filled either through internal hires or referrals. This means that if you are an outsider and have no connections, your odds of getting a certain job have already plummeted to 30 percent. When you combine this with the numerous other factors related to your job search it is clear that your best hope is to forge connections.

You Want Your Network Before the Job Goes Live
One of the mistakes that job seekers make is attempting to find recruiters and ask them about a job after it goes live. Now, this is acceptable and even laudable, however you should not be surprised if you fail to get a job. Regardless of when you make the contact, however, if you want to work for that company makes sure you maintain your network. Make friends, keep people talking and show genuine interest in working for that company.

However, do not stop at the recruiters or HR representatives – reach out to managers and other people who you hope to be working with. Build a network, get to know their hobbies, spend time with them… and yes, punch one in the face if that is what they are inclined to do in your free time. Networking is not just about forming professional connections and getting to know people, it is also about making friends. People are more inclined to hire you if they know they can work with you.

Get Ahead of the Curve
Modern technology makes it easier than ever to find the movers and shakers in a business. Usually, the names of the management staff in a business are just a Google search away. Failing that, other business and brands like LinkedIn and Covve help you find connections based on the people who are already in your network. Finding these links in the chain will help you grow from one person to another, to another, and to another.

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