When speaking about digital and social technology and the importance of leveraging it for career success, I often share this statistic that comes from John Bennett: 80% of jobs are landed through networking and personal relationships. Although I cannot vouch for the research behind it, it’s not a statistic I find surprising. As I have now been working in the field of higher education for over 15 years, over time I have become more and more aware of how true this is.
When I reflect back on the jobs I have held and on the speaking and consulting engagements I have booked, almost all of them have come through personal connections I have made with others. Although I didn’t intentionally seek to create a strong network when I started as a new professional, I have nevertheless come to appreciate the fact that I took the time to create and maintain these connections. I have also dedicated my time to facilitating these connections for others. The relationship is reciprocal.
One of the tremendous affordances social media provides is the ability to solidify connections over time. Earlier on in my career, when social media didn’t exist, many of these connections would have been lost to time or geography. Now, with social media, I am able to maintain these relationships and nurture them in ways that were not previously possible.
Social media has also allowed me to make new connections. Connections with individuals that, in some cases, started in the digital domain. And some with individuals whom I have never met in person. For me, this has been one of the biggest benefits of digital and social technology. It has opened doors to new work opportunities as well as opportunities for connecting with new colleagues for learning and friendship.
As I go forth into my post-PhD job search, I am incredibly grateful for the strong network I have built over time. It contains quality, like-minded individuals that are committed to our own collective success.
What are you doing to grow and cultivate your network?
(You may also wish to listen to this episode of All Things Considered: “A Successful Job Search: It’s All About Networking.”)