One of my college professors once stood in front of our class and said, “Your whole life, you have probably been told that when it comes to finding a job, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” We nodded as a collective, as we had all heard that phrase a million times. He continued, though, to tell us that is not actually the case. He told us, “It’s what you know, it’s who you know, AND it’s who likes you.”
Finding the right position for your career isn’t always about what is on your resume or how many people you know working in your field. Finding the right position is a combination of your experiences, having a foot in the door, and making a good impression when you meet with the company. It doesn’t matter how many people you know if you have zero qualifications for the job, and it doesn’t matter how many people you know if they wouldn’t vouch for you as a potential employee. What does matter is making connections with people in your field and gaining their respect.
When it comes to meeting new people, you can never have a network too large. Building and maintaining relationships is key not only for immediate gratification; it also will pay off in the long run. Whatever you’re looking for, whether it is a new job, a promotion, or any opportunity to further your career, every set of eyes and ears helps. The more people who know your goals, the better.
The reason I’m sitting in this chair, typing this post is because I made a connection with the president of Theoris IT, Brian Koch. We connected through LinkedIn, and I decided to take him up on his offer to get together for coffee and networking. As it turned out, networking led to a job offer. I’m a firm believer in taking chances and seeing where they lead you. You could end up with a whole new adventure!