By Crosby T. Pamberi
Like most people, as 2019 drew to a close, I was thinking about what 2020 held for me. How could I make sure I achieved more this year than I did last year? What could I do differently? How I could I grow and improve?
While in that frame of mind, I read the article below, written by Julia Freeland and featured on CNBC, the business and financial news provider. It speaks about the value of networks (friends, relatives, acquaintances and friends of friends) in finding jobs. The article strongly resonated with me because it tied in with a number of things that I had been thinking about.
Specifically, the article quotes research stating that, “….70% of all jobs are not advertised publicly… and (whether the jobs are advertised or not) up to 80% of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections.”
Looking at this another way: When you are looking for a job, if you see a job fitting your criteria advertised, it is possible that the advert has only been created to satisfy legal requirements; i.e. the hiring managers already have a candidate in mind and the advert is simply a “box-ticking” exercise. Effectively, the interviewers are deliberately wasting your time!
According to the above CNBC article, a person without a strong network of personal and professional connections, only has 20% chance of landing a job. Just let that sink in for 1 minute.
Viewed another way, those with strong networks automatically get first dibs on the best opportunities – 80% of the time. That gives them an 80% chance of advancing in their careers. 80% chance of earning more money. 80% chance of being able to afford a nice house. Their children also have an 80% chance of having a better start in life. Those children, by virtue of their parents’ networks and comparative wealth, will inherit better life outcomes too.
It doesn’t end there. It gets worse.
According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, people who live in the most affluent areas live almost 10 years longer than people living the poorest areas. Poor elderly people also spend around 33% of their life in “not good” health. For rich people that statistic falls to about 16%.
The quality of one’s networks is also referred to as Social Capital. And according Investopedia, is defined as, “a positive product of human interaction. . . .it may include useful information, innovative ideas, and future opportunities . . .” The Oxford English Dictionary goes one step further: “Corporations transform social capital into economic capital”.
Viewed in this context, the saying, “Your network determines your net worth” is becomes an understatement. It becomes self-evident. And once one is aware of it, it is simply, basic common sense.
Participating in job searches, business, or even just life in general without strong networks is like gambling against professionals and being dealt a rigged hand of cards – heavily stacked against you. Now add discrimination to that mix: race, gender, age, disability, accent, and perceived attractiveness. [Discrimination on the basis of perceived attractiveness is real.
Imagine applying for a Receptionist job and the interviewer(s) think you’re less attractive than Candidate B, what do you reckon your chances are?!]. Of course, many employers will say they don’t care about attractiveness. All they care about is whether a candidate can actually do the job.
However, they also “know” what their clients want. If they know (or think) that their clients are more likely to close a deal if a proposition is presented by an attractive member of staff, then this will be factored into the hiring decision. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but how wrong do I look when you consider that air stewardesses featured in airline adverts tend to be very beautiful people? I rest my case.
So, after, reflecting at length on the issues raised by the original CNBC article, which introduced this opinion piece, I have decided to be a lot more deliberate about it. After all, when it comes to networking, nobody ever has enough “good friends”. All of us will always need to enhance the quality of the networks we have.
So, one of my main goals, this year, is to carefully cultivate my networks. To build new ones and enrich the existing ones.
And to achieve effective outcomes, in my networking, one of the things I am doing in the UK is to work with a number of Zimbabwean professionals in the Diaspora; British and Zimbabwean business people; and anyone who is interested in making a difference to their own life and the lives of others. In fact, already this year, through these networks, I’ve already found out about several lucrative investment proposals; in renewable energy, health, education, property, agriculture, tourism – and the various technologies quietly transforming the future of all these sectors – all this has happened within the first 21 days of this year alone.
So, in partnership with my network which includes, Conrad Mwanza founder of ZimAchievers; Dr. Knowledge Mpofu Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck University and Chevening Scholar; Mr Ernest Mugadza, founder of Rubatsiro Ambulance; Florence Kirkpatrick founder of Perfect Cuisine; Peaceful Chimbwanda, founder of PropertyEnd.com; Shaana Puwai, Founder and Editor of Homes & Styles International Magazine and many, many more illustrious members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora in the UK – too numerous to list here – we will be organising investment and networking events. If you are interested in strengthening your social capital, it would be awesome to see you. The first event will be in March and the exact dates will be communicated through this column and via social media.
Finally, to ensure that these networking events are properly tailored and relevant to your own personal needs; your areas of interest; and your life goals, please fill in this 3-minute survey by clicking here or by copying and pasting the following into your browser: https://www.questionpro.com/t/APjltZfL0t
If you have enjoyed this article, please, share it with your networks, and crucially, encourage them to fill in the above survey to create a win-win situation for every participant.
Crosby T. Pamberi is the CEO of Heritage Pay
You can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Pay is a UK-based, international payments and money transfer company; specialising in money transfers for business capital investment; stock market investment; and commercial and residential property. www.heritagepay.co.uk
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are the author’s own. They are based on information publicly available at the time of writing; and are therefore constantly evolving. None of the information contained here is, nor should be construed as financial advice. Past performance is no guide to the future. You should always seek your own independent financial advice (and, crucially, permission from your spouse!) before making any financial decision.