It's Not Always What You Know, But It's Also Who You Know
School prepares you your entire life to work for others. You learn how to follow directions. You learn how to read procedures/instructions. You learn that if you work really hard you will be rewarded. All of this information prepares you to be an excellent professional!
When you do break into the world of corporate you should know this tid bit right off hand: It's not always what you know, but who you know.
I'm not saying that hard work isn't loved or wanted. You need people who are at the top of their game because this allows the business to be at the top of its game. They need quality workers so that their business can stay afloat. But if you want to move up in your line of business, you cannot rely on your hard work alone.
I know young women who leave college with these big dreams to make it to the top. They expect to come into the business and become the HBIC. Years later, they discovered they have only moved 1/8th of the way they wanted to go and become disillusioned with their company and the age old advice of "hard work being the key to everything."
When I say "who you know", I'm referencing contacts and relationships you should be building within your company. You should be going to networking events or meetings to meet others within your line of business. This allows you to make strong connections within your area, so that when you are ready to move up and move on, there is someone who you could lean on during your interview process. Someone who could recommend your wonderful work ethics to the recruiters.
As you move around in the world of corporate, it becomes very competitive especially as you move up. So many people are vying for the same job that hiring managers are receiving hundreds of resumes. They just do not have the time to review them all. However, if you have a relationship with the manager or someone in that area, they could vouch for your amazing work, which would bring you up higher in their list of candidates.
Hard work is very important, but do not have tunnel vision and solely focus on your work ethic. That is something that is going to happen for you regardless. (Because if you are reading this, I know you are serious about your professional development!) Start building relationships now as you work in your field so that when you are ready to move on, you will have some positive collaborators in place who can help you along on your journey.
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