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Showing posts from June, 2015

Why Connections Sometimes Count More Than Skills

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Is it better to develop your skills or your network? I've heard arguments from some people that only skills count today, while others believe that only your connections count. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

You need both skills and connections to succeed in your career. But the best news is that at the start of your career when your skills are less developed you can compensate by working very hard on your networking.

So why are connections so important? In theory everyone always chooses the best person for the job. Except that they don't. They can't. It's impossible because of our imperfect knowledge -- somewhere out there is the person we need but we don't know who it is. It's also impossible because if everyone went to the best person that person would be very busy and unavailable.

In reality when people say that they are choosing the best they often mean that they are choosing the best person from the pool of people that they know, or that their frie…

Networking Yourself into a New Career

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One question that often comes up in networking workshops is "How do I network myself into a new career?". This question is mostly asked by people who would like to move to a new field where the prospect of finding work seems better, or simply people who are tired of what they are doing and want to move into something different. The problem they face is that they have no experience and no contacts in the new field.

At least the contacts part is actually straightforward to fix once you have decided to do it. There are many ways to approach the problem and here are just six:

TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR PLANS. You are much more likely to get helpful advice, hear about opportunities and make new connections if you are open about your plan. Keeping your goal secret just means that you will not be in the loop and not taken seriously. Tell your network, tell your friends, tell your family, tell the people you meet. Sooner or later you will meet someone who is either in the business or ha…