Is it really about what you know or is it more about who do you know? My experience is it’s probably a little bit of both, but don’t underestimate either.
You shouldn’t underestimate either, because you need both to get where you want to go. Yes, you must have the knowledge, skills and talent but you also need to have the people and contacts that can help you. In other words, you need both!
Not only do you need both, the knowledge and the contacts, but you also need to search out the best of both. You must find the best places to obtain your knowledge, skills and talent to be the absolute best. And, you must search out and find the best people in the industry that can help you. A lot of times you can find these two things in the same places.
Finding the best places to obtain the knowledge you need is the easy part. Do your research and locate the best places to gain the knowledge you need. Once you do that then you will have to find out what you need to do to get into these schools or programs. What are the requirements? How much does it costs? This is basic stuff, isn’t it?
Some of you will be researching the best Universities and Colleges for the knowledge or skills you need and some of you will be researching the best technical schools or certificate programs for what you need. It doesn’t matter, but the key is you must gain the knowledge and skills you need to be the best. Remember, it’s about your knowledge, skills and talent AND your contacts, right?
So, lets discuss the “Who you know” or the contacts side of things. Let me be very clear here, even if you have all of the contacts in the world it won’t matter if you don’t have the knowledge, skills, or talent. I don’t care what you’re hearing, contacts alone won’t cut it. So how do you get the contacts and find the people that can help you?
“Who you know” can be family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Tell these people what you want to do. You will be surprised how many of these family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances will know people that can help you in your career.
The reasons why I harp on getting the knowledge and skills you need from the best possible sources is because that is one of the best places to find the contacts and the people that can help you. The professors and instructors can help you and they know a lot of people in the industry that can help you. You will have a built in network of contacts.
Is it really about what you know or is it more about who do you know? Both! But the key is you can’t shrink! You can’t keep what you want to do in your career a secret! Ask the people you know if they can help you or if they know someone that can help you. Start networking! Start attending places where the people doing what you want to do go. If you do these things you will have the “what” you know AND the “who” you know! And, believe me, you will need both! I hope this helps.
Good luck to you!