Knowing Someone Makes a Difference-Part 1

I’ve put a lot more emphasis on networking in the last few years and I’ve always considered it an investment, the kind of investment that you think will pay off but has no guarantee. It’s not a certificate of deposit type investment.

Does it pay off? How often does knowing someone make a difference? As I think back to when I started in IT in 1998 every job and almost every consulting engagement was a result of someone I knew, or a referral from someone I knew. All except the first one!

In practice we all prefer a known to an unknown. For someone wanting help having any kind of positive recommendation puts you in the running for the job. When it comes to accepting a new position or assignment most of would much rather proceed when we have a ‘thumbs-up’ from someone that is already working there.

That might explain my track record. I like to know what I’m getting into, so I’m biased towards recommendations. It’s one of the ways I reduce risk.

There’s another benefit as well, and I’ll cover that tomorrow.

One thought on “Knowing Someone Makes a Difference-Part 1

  1. “In practice we all prefer a known to an unknown.”

    Couldn”t agree more, Andy. From the hiring perspective, it”s difficult to know someone”s aptitude, and more importanly their attitude, from a resume and a couple of hours of interviews. Having a recommendation from someone on the inside makes it easier to stand out from the dozens – or sometimes hundreds – of unknown candidates.

    As a candidate, you never really know what to expect from an employer. Hiring managers and HR folks will cast favorable light on their company during the interview process because that”s their job, but how much of it is sincere? Having a contact inside a company can give you a glimpse into the company culture, workload, and other facets that might not be revealed to you until after you”ve joined them.


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