Why is networking important?

We are all told that we need to network and networking is important to having a great career, but why? We know the benefits of networking, but have you ever thought about why it’s so important. I like to explain with a simple illustration.

Suppose that you need help from someone to do something. Maybe you want to hire them into an important role, or award a new contract to them or otherwise just get something done. And let’s say you have a choice between two people who are both qualified for the role. Here are a few scenarios:

  1. Random person vs a friend, who do you choose? your friend of course.
  2. Random person vs an acquaintance (someone you’ve met once or twice, but don’t really know them well), who do you choose? the acquantainance.
  3. Random person vs a friend of a friend (you don’t know them personally but someone you trust does), who do you choose? the friend of a friend
  4. Random person vs an acquaintance of a friend, who do you choose? the acquaintance of a friend.
  5. …and keep going…

Why is networking important? random person vs someone you or someone you know knows.

And keep going. and going… and going. If you were to put random person against a friend of a friend’s friend, or an acquaintance of a friend’s friend and so on, in basically every instance, you would pick the person where you or someone you know actually knows them (on the assumption that you don’t have a negative impression of the connections involved).

So the conclusion is: sucks to be a random person. And it’s better being that someone who knows someone…


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