Can networking help you advance your career? If yes, how far can it take you? The results may actually surprise you.
According to research, networking can actually make a sizable difference in your career. Quoting Harvard Business Review columnist, Rebecca Knight: "Networking is linked to many measures of professional success — including getting promoted, having influence, earning more money, and feeling more satisfied in your career".
A study by Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business gave strong evidence on this. 40% of the survey's participants credited their connections as the key reason they found their first job. Two thirds of the participants also mentioned that networking helped them achieve dramatic increases in their pay cheque - sometimes even by 100%.
It doesn't end here though. As expected, the power of being connected also matters greatly to entrepreneurs and investors. A 2020 study by Booth Business School at the University of Chicago, indicated that networking was a major factor in helping both US-based and international entrepreneurs and investors in finding funding, sourcing talent and receiving insights to enter new markets.
It all makes perfect sense… You are far more likely to get hired, get paid more, or get investment if someone trusted recommends you. You just beat the queue and the odds.
Let's look at a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that you are applying for a job at Google, which receives millions of job applications per year and has an acceptance rate of 0.2%.
According to the former Senior VP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, "The odds of hiring a great person based on inbound applications are low". "Google doesn't really want you to approach them." According to this, applying directly is unlikely to get you far. Google, like many other companies of its calibre and size, seem to rely on discovering you through their recruiters and network.
Being recommended to them by someone who works with the company, increases your chances of getting hired very fast.
So, stop and think. How can you better utilize your professional network to advance your goals?