Video: Is it What You Know or Who You Know? Both Are Needed

We’ve been cleaning up around here. The IT Career Toolkit website needed an overhaul. This morning I recorded a new podcast – look for it tomorrow – introducing some new materials and the TechXCited Seminar Series (watch for it).

In the meantime, here is a short segment from a past speaking engagement. I was speaking to both information technology students and professionals on dynamic career growth.

Who You Know or What You Know?

The phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is often quoted to suggest that networking and personal connections are the MOST important factor in career growth.

Personal connections can be very important. But this phrase is often an excuse by people who, when overlooked for a role, cite it as the reason they were overlooked. They imply that they had the skills and knowledge but someone without those skills was given the position.

And this can happen – though I’d suggest rarely.  I find the phrase and the idea behind it short-sighted and cynical.

As someone who has hired people, I certainly want to go to “known” commodities first. All things being equal, if I know someone personally, they are looked upon more favorably than the unknown. But if they DO NOT have the talent, I’m not hiring them. I need successful projects.

You see, it’s a both/and situation. And in fact, it is less about who you know. It’s more about who knows you… and knows what you know.

And that is the phrase I use to indicate that you must work on your talent and raw skills and you must, simultaneously, work in developing a strong professional network.

“It’s who knows you and knows what you know!”

Make sense? Agree? Disagree?

Let me know.

Posted in career development, Coaching, video and tagged , .

What do you think?