It's actually about more than "who you know"
In the public relations industry, from day one in the field you hear “It’s all about who you know.”
And in a sense, I completely agree that networking is an integral part of *any* industry and a great way to ensure future success. However, it’s more than just who you know.
Influence and social capital sans social media
These are more than just the buzz words du jour and they are very important even if you take social media out of the picture… Which is exactly my point here. The power of influence and social capital is amplified by social media, but it’s really just about how others around you perceive you and think of you. It’s created out of how you treat other people and carry yourself around others. What’s unfortunate here is the same reasoning behind “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies and people are not always fair in their assessments of others.
Not to rant or anything. My point is it doesn’t matter who you know. What matters is who knows you and what they think of you. But it also matters who that person is and what others think of them. You have control over a small portion of this–but not all of it.
It starts to get pretty confusing, doesn’t it?
When you visibly put yourself out there via a blog or Twitter, or a public Facebook profile–this extends the number of people who potentially “know” you. (And people will say they know you even if it’s just online, I know others have said that of me and I have definitely done the same). Again, in this case you don’t only lack control over how people perceive you, but you may not even know who is claiming to know you.
Risk vs. Reward
The risk is people may (unfairly) judge you. The reward is you’ll know more people and more people will know you, which may lead to more and more opportunities. I’m fortunate to say I’ve had a lot of great opportunities come my way because I put myself out there, and it far outweighs the few awkward (and possibly psychosomatic) moments I’ve felt I’d been unfairly judged.
This might seem oh-so-obvious, but I notice people often who seem to miss this point completely (I don’t think these type of people would read my blog, so I don’t have a problem saying it). This is also yet another justification to live your life by doing the right thing, being nice to others and staying true to what you believe in. Again it seems so obvious but not practiced enough in reality.
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