There’s no doubt that the Internet has changed so many aspects of our lives, yet by far the most implicating for young professionals and graduates is the fact that the variables for a successful career life are no longer what they use to be.
The older generation will tell you to go to college, work hard, graduate with a good result, get a job with a good organisation and gradually move your way up the corporate ladder, one achievement at a time.
They’ll also tell you hard work, patience and persistence is the key. Of course, this advice couldn’t be more on point, except for the fact that these variables are no longer enough.
Thrown into the mix is a new and all-powerful variable whose impact alone can mean the difference between a sweet sailing professional life; one with all the potential for greatness, and a stagnant and unfulfilling one.
All so sudden, the younger generation of professionals is faced with a new truism; it’s no longer just about your qualification or how hardworking you are, but about who you’re connected to and the information and impression you’re passing across.
There’s now an all-important need to know and perfect this new variable called Networking.
Who you’re connected to
The internet has made it possible for anyone; whether a recent graduate with a shiny new degree or a mid-career professional looking for a better job, to be able to connect to influencers in their industries; those with the power to recommend them, and to be able to build nurturing relationship with them.
Through mutual help and understanding, these people have the power to propel your career to heights you’ve never thought imaginable and in such a short period of time too. You have the chance to learn a lot from their journeys too; to see the mistakes they’ve made and where they get things right.
Perhaps the best example of where this phenomenon comes into play is the LinkedIn next wave; a list of young and innovative professionals who are leading their companies “towards a future that they see more clearly than most.”
They’re not just achieving great things, they’re doing it with the help of the world, while the rest of us are watching. It’s why they have 25x more connection than the average person, many of the senior leaders. They’re powerful because their ideas are able to reach the highest number of people that matter.
Perhaps this same phenomenon is also the reason why millennials are more likely to switch jobs than the older generation because through networking, they’re now exposed to bigger, better opportunities that are often too tempting to ignore.
The ideas you’re connected to
Of equal importance to the people, you’re connected to is also the ideas you share. The success of the LinkedIn next wave couldn’t have been possible if their ideas were never known to the world. Indeed they could never have been able to amass as much number of connections.
People instinctively want to connect to and identify with great ideas, and when you happen to be the one who shares them, you cannot go unnoticed.
However, this need to be connected to the right people who share your dreams and whom your ideas resonate with doesn’t in any way undermine the need to work hard, do really great things and make a difference.
The difference is not having to do it in one hidden crevice of an obscure organization without anyone ever heard of it.
For those who have figured this networking thing out, career success seems almost effortless. They find themselves speeding across their career ladder at an unfathomable speed while the rest of us find it difficult to tag alone.
This is why if you’re not giving Networking the proper attention it deserves, then you should have it in mind that you might be doing your career life a lot of harm, that will only worsen in the long run.