It's not what you know OR who you know... It's who knows YOU

creating awareness list building networking self awareness self-advocacy targeted networking top of mind

Finish this sentence: "It's not what you know, but...”

“… who you know.” Right? We’ve all heard this. That's what everybody says. Well, may have been true, but it's not anymore. Nowadays, it's not what you know, or who you know… It’s who knows you.

In the past, it might've been who you know. But now we're all already networked. We have the internet, we have Google, social media, LinkedIn, and more. It's very easy to get to know somebody else, to find out who they are, what they do, what they're all about. And so now, because we're already networked it doesn't matter as much who you know, but what matters is who knows you.

In other words, what is really important is that we create awareness.

 If They Don't Know You, It Doesn't Count

A few years ago, a colleague who I worked with had been to an event, and he had met the mayor that day. He came back and he was telling some of our clients "Oh, yeah, I know the mayor." He even described him as "a friend of mine." 

A few days later I was at a luncheon and I just happened to be sitting at the table next to the mayor. I was chatting with him and I said, "Oh, I understand you know my colleague” and I mentioned his name.

The mayor said "Who?" 

If you have a connection with somebody, or you think you have a connection just because you know them, it doesn't necessarily mean anything if they don't know who you are back.

Create Awareness

So it's really important in the context of your job search to not just focusing on what you know and who you know, but it's also critically important that you focus on the people that you know also knowing who you are and what you are up to. And that means you need to create awareness. 

And this is sort of the first step in the networking portion of your job search.

Nowadays it's very easy to self promote. And that might not be comfortable for everybody (especially you introverts) but it's something that you have to do. And in order to uncover job opportunities that the general public doesn't know about, people have to be aware of what you're up to and the fact that you are looking for opportunities. (More on the psychology behind this later.)

Let People Know What You're Doing

So the next thing that you're going to start doing is when we go through our contacts, we're going to create a list of people with whom you want to create awareness. In other words, people that you are going to update and let them know, "Hey, I am in the market I am available for a job." or “I’m interested in experiencing new things.”

That's going to happen in multiple different ways. You're going to certainly let your personal network, everybody you know personally, know what you're up to and what you're looking for. 

And then also we're going to get into a little bit more targeted networking, too - people who are influencers, or hiring managers, or people that are networked with those types of people - also create awareness with them to let them know that you're out there and you're looking for something.

So if they come across some opportunity, you're going to be top of mind. You're going to be the first person they think of.

So now, and going forward, when we think about networking and expanding your network, what we're really trying to do is we want to create awareness about you and your professional situation and your professional goals, so that other people will keep you top of mind. 


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