There are many prisms that distort the way individuals and organizations see and act in the world. These prisms are neither right nor wrong, judgment is largely dependent on time, space (context) and direction. This series on prisms will open discourse on a few.

First Prism – To get a job, you need to know someone.

The above prism typically points to the supposed negatives of networking – nepotism and cronyism, but rarely to the positives. To be fair, networking is broadly used to cover elements of nepotism and cronyism, with no clear data distinguishing them, and really, why should anyone care? It depends on context.

The data supports the above prism. More than 70% of jobs are filled via networking.

Networking becomes even more important as you gain experience. The sieve of aptitude tests do not apply to experienced hands. The sieves used are word-of-mouth, fit for purpose, achievement, reputation, regulatory requirements and other sieves of the ilk.

What bothers me are the group of people that use this prism most often – the unemployed fresh graduate. They use this prism not as insight but as needless chains. Interestingly, they are also the group of people that this prism least applies to. You seldom need to know anyone to get an entry level job in an organization that matters. Great organizations know that the sustainability of their success is hinged on the integrity of their first gate. However, you need to have something worth sharing to get through that gate. If what you offer cannot get you in, try another organization’s gate, you were not born to flourish on only one farm.

The prism still rings true because to get your first job, someone will have to show you the advert, someone will mention that an organization is hiring, someone will hint that a particular industry will fit your skillset, someone can tease that your temperament needs a little beer to chill. Yes, no one might have helped to open the gate, but someone hinted that the gate was ready and worth opening.

Prisms are neither right nor wrong. The trick is in how you use them.

People are our only network in the world and no one can truly live without another.

The crowds you work and play in matter. The books you read matter. The places you visit matter.

To get a job, you need to know someone. Yes, and you already know all the people you need, including self, to get a job.

– Osasu Oviawe

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