NETWORKING / SEP. 03, 2015
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What's More Valuable to Have, Skills or Connections?

Justin Bieber and Obama
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If you have a good amount of skills, you will probably go ahead and say that skills are more important than connections, but the fact remains that if you want to land a great job in today’s economy, you must have a little bit of both. However, which one ends up really trumping the other?

See Also: How to Network Smartly

Are skills or connections, more valuable in the fast paced and crazy economy of today? Well, all you need to do is just read this short article to see what’s valuable and what’s not, to have a successful career in the future.

Benefits of Skills

Skills can go a long way towards making you into the exact employee that a company is dreaming of. Most of the careers of today’s economy require specialized knowledge: things like computer skills or programming skills, management skills, or even marketing skills can all make an employer’s eyes pop out of their head while they are reading through your resume.

Skills can set you apart, they give you special value to employers, and they can enable you to do jobs that others can’t, however, there are...

Drawbacks of Skills Without Connections

While having extra skills is never a bad thing, there are some drawbacks of only having skills. If you don’t have any connections, no one will be there to endorse you for your skills for starters, and without connections it will be much harder to find potential job openings.

Benefits of Having Connections

Connections can go far in today’s economy, and despite the world being taken over by the secret CIA entity: Facebook (You like that conspiracy theory reference don’t you?), we still live in a world where human connection is key to getting anything in life.

Many times the word of a close acquaintance is enough to influence you to do whatever they say; connections are beneficial as they set up bridges for you to make potential business connections, find new careers or opportunities, get highly valuable endorsements, and connections can serve as a sort of proof of your competence.

People with a lot of connections tend to be thought of as successful, personable, effective, and ultimately better at dealing with people.

Drawbacks of Having Connections Without Skills

A person with no skills and nothing but connections ultimately won’t go very far in the business world of today’s economy. A bunch of connections that have nothing special or positive to say about you isn’t going to get you anywhere, so you are going to need some kind of skills to back up your connections, otherwise connections mean nothing.

So What is More Valuable in Today’s Economy?

Ultimately life is all about human interaction and connection. People who have more connections, better relationships, and better ability to deal with people can get more done than the people who are locked into solitary confinement.

When you have connections, you may not have a certain skill, but chances are that you know someone who can give you a crash course, or even better, they can do the job for you. Connections allow you to spend less time on projects, outsource technical knowledge, stay on the cutting edge of your industry, find new business, find new opportunities, and make more money in today’s economy.

Economics is the social science that seeks to describe the factors which determine the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. So there you have it: the term economics means dealing with other people, and while skills may certainly help, you are going to have to have other people around you if you ever want to have any type of success in life.

If you want to be a valuable asset in today’s economy, start seeking out connections in your field and you will drastically increase the amount of opportunities that you stumble onto throughout your days.

Connections are Key

Today’s world and economy is changing rapidly, technology changes daily, trends rise and fall, and new topics can go viral in a matter of days, changing the entire landscape of the market. Things today happen fast; in the past it took years to establish a market and get a footing, but today a single viral video can launch a business and change the world.

Connections allow you to better adapt to the changes of the economy as your connections can help insulate you from change, tip you off to trends, and can even recommend new avenues if things get bad; but, it takes a lot of time to build new skills if your skills suddenly become obsolete.

Skills can be in high demand, or can be worth nothing- that will change over time, but relationships with people are here to stay.

Double Your Value in a Matter of Months

Start reaching out to the people that you already know and associate with, ask them for endorsements, setup a LinkedIn profile and start sending connection requests to the people you know.

Let your friends and associates know what you do and what your skills are, and find out the same information about them. Try to send referrals to the people that you know and trust, and recommend their services to anyone that you meet who might be a candidate for them to work with. Over time, you will form business connections with others that will slowly start to send opportunities your way as well.

Connections are valuable, not because they offer some immediate tangible benefits, but because you never know when a connection could pay off. You might know a guy who paves roads for a living, and while you may not perceive your relationship as promising, he might have an uncle who is a CEO and needs someone just like you for his new startup company.

Connections are like little feelers that are out there feeling for new opportunities, and while you are certainly limited in the amount of skills that you can possess, you will never be limited in how many people you can meet and how many connections you can form.

See Also: Why Networking is more Important than Presenting at Academic Conferences

Skills are a valuable addition to anyone’s resume, but connections is the hidden source of most people’s success. Many times just knowing the right person or being in the right place at the right time is far more beneficial than some of the greatest skills and deepest knowledge sets.

Having all the skills in the world and no one to show them to won’t get you far, but having just one skill and a ton of connections can help you market your single skill all over the world. Connections provide more opportunities, help insulate us against risk and loss, they increase or influence, they provide us with endorsements, and they provide us with second hand skills that we can gain from the people that we connect with.

Want to increase your value in today’s economy? Skip the skills and get more connections- they go far!

What do you think? Do you agree that connections are king, or do you think that skills are the most important thing in today’s world? Leave a comment below and let us know..

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