We’ve all heard the expression “It’s not what-you-know but who-you-know that’s most important in life.”
Well, I’m not yet ready to discount the knowledge, skills, and abilities (a.k.a. competencies) that anyone brings to an organization. What-you-know still is very important to future employment and career advancement.
I’m also not yet ready to say that who-you-know trumps what-you-know. Yes, it is very important that you build and maintain your network. It is very important that you know people — particularly people who can help you.
Perhaps we need to flip such questions and re-frame things a bit. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves:
- What is it about me and my competencies that others need to know?
- When people think of me, what is it that they remember?
Whereas, Charles Greene III suggests, “So how visible are you?” I will flip this or paraphrase this question to now read: “How are you visible?”
- Do you have a PR-campaign in place that will help others remember your brand, your services, or the goods you sell?
- Have you integrated or harmonized the messages you post on the various social networks?
- Are you consistent with your communication so that if a future employer were to GOOGLE you, they’d find a positive and consistent message?
Related questions include …
- How are you managing your personal and professional brand?
- How are you maintaining the many professional and personal relationships you’ve made thru-out your career?
- And if employee referral programs are so important to finding a job or your next project or gig, then how will you find a way or make a way to exploit or leverage your connections?