I was talking with a friend yesterday about going to grad school, and the idea of networking came up.
She mentioned that one of her company’s interns asked what she studied that allowed her to get her current job. She told the intern that, regardless of what degree you have, “it’s all about who you know.”
This is certainly a true statement, but it’s also misleading.
Saying “it’s all about who you know” can easily lead one to think “Oh, well, I don’t know anyone ‘important’ (i.e. my parents aren’t famous, I don’t have family connections, I’m not an executive, etc.), so I guess I’m screwed.”
From here, self-pity sets in and we readily justify our failures or mediocrity because “everyone else is lucky.” Any ambition is DOA.
Networking – the answer
It IS all about who you know, but who you know is your responsibility. Networking, people you meet, relationships you form, the people you help and the ones who help you (especially the former) – these are the things that really matter. And they aren’t only available by birthright or luck.
“It” – career advancement, dating, growing – really is about who you know.
But who you know is up to you.
Photo: Andy Lamb