Network As Net Worth: Increasing Access To Social Capital For Young People

from Forbes

Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. And others are filled before they are even posted. When we talk to young people about career aspirations, we often center that conversation on the academic and professional preparation that entails – the degrees they need, the certifications that are essential. But ultimately so much of our careers are shaped – and driven by –our social connections.

It feels difficult in this moment to center connections as an essential component of career success when so many young people feel disconnected – from their schools, from their peers, from the futures they envisioned for themselves before the pandemic. At iMentor, our model harnesses the power of personal relationships to help students succeed. We partner with high schools in communities in which a majority of students served will be first-generation college graduates. We match them with college-educated mentors who they communicate with online once a week using curricular prompts and meet once a month virtually.

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9 Comments

  1. This article from Forbes mentioned many different and interesting topics but I would like to focus on two quotes which lead me to my two main ideas of conversation. The first quote states “research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. And others are filled before they are even posted”. Considering this article talks about the discouragement students are having to enroll in university, the statistic given by Forbes is a great reason why. If a college graduate is entering the market for the first time knowing that without the right contacts, he or she only has about 30% of jobs open for him, plus the amount of competition faced, it is very reasonable to question the use of the last four years of his life, which lead to a possible life lasting debt. A solution to that is through technology and we can see these things today through LinkedIn and other apps that connect employers to employees. This leads me to the second quote, “It feels difficult in this moment to center connections as an essential component of career success when so many young people feel disconnected- from their schools, from their peers, from their futures they envisioned for themselves before the pandemic”. I understand that this quote refers to the pandemic, but I believe people are still in the process of disconnecting. This happens because social media and technology is allowing people to talk, meet and do other activities without needing to leave their houses. This causes people to rarely meet and live their life comfortably in their houses without going out to in person jobs where so many interactions could happen and connect people. I see sadly high-schools that are adapting this online schedule and is detrimental to kids who now aren’t making as much friends or creating memories like I did. Added to that, the broad use of technology makes messaging the leading channel of conversation and that makes people unlearn skills of interaction and live conversation, which is useful to build networking and finding jobs in the future.
    In conclusion, although technology has its unavoidable advantages, it is being used in a way that ends up being detrimental to society, especially young people who will be in the workforce in the future.

  2. After reading the article I think that getting a good network of contacts can help us in all areas of our business to get anything we may need. When we start a new business, it is most likely that the contacts we have made so far (friends, neighbors…) are insufficient, and we need new contacts that fit these new circumstances. People who can help you with their experience, who can recommend you to professionals with references, and that you can even do business at some point with that person. Social relationships are a basic aspect of anyone’s life, but it’s not until college that you really realize how important they can be.
    The peers and friends you gain at this stage have the ability to enhance various aspects of a college student’s life, whether it’s helping each other to improve school performance, or even becoming partners after you’ve completed your studies. Social relationships in college can mark a person’s life like a few things in the world, not only for things related to getting a good job. I believe that fostering this type of meeting, which help to generate new relationships, makes you have good mental health; the human being is by nature a social being, and therefore, having a circle of people where one can support is of utmost importance, especially in these times where technology has made us unite but in many cases away from the world and the people closest to us. Sadly, nowadays there are very few universities that make an effort to give us teachings that are really useful in everyday life and it even seems that they have forgotten that these are really important things. Soft skills are a combination of social and communication skills, aptitudes, and the ability to relate to others; those who possess them generally work well in teams, are results-oriented and flexible in their social relationships. They are also strongly linked to emotional intelligence, understood as the ability to successfully manage emotions in order to relate positively with others. Things like these are what should be encouraged in universities, to really have the necessary tools for future life.

  3. Networking in a world like today can be difficult due to the lack of social skills the younger generation possess. From a young age we were given electronics as a way to keep us busy instead of going outdoors to play. The benefits that we are missing out on as a younger generation are endless. As stated in the article, “Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking.” If we lack social skills as a generation networking can not be achieved. The benefits of networking expands ones social circle which opens doors for job opportunities.

  4. It is essentially impossible to progress in life without socializing with others. This ranges from something as small as making an exchange at a McDonald, to progressing in one’s career. Networking with others is the key to success. Imentor notes an interesting statistic, “Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking.” There is a drastic polarization between a person who is broadly networked with people and a person who is not. For example, a hiring manager is reviewing 2 applicants’ resumes. The applicants have almost identical credentials, but one went to Harvard and the other went to Montclair State University. The hiring manager would easily pick the Harvard applicant even though they have almost the same credentials. Harvard is obviously a well-known university with some of the best professors in the world, the graduates of Harvard will more likely be better prepared for the workforce. If that same scenario were to happen again, but this time the Montclair State University graduate was well connected with the hiring manager, the hiring manager would more likely choose the MSU grad over the Harvard grad. That is the power of networking. Networking trumps all other odds in the working environment. Once people build personal connections with other people, they become more inclined in helping each other prosper. Imentor is doing a great thing by promoting its networking program to high school students and young adults. Their mentorship program can set up the future generation with the knowledge on how to network successfully. Luckily, I have a mentor who has guided me thus far in my journey, but some young adults are not as lucky as myself. Some young adults have nobody they can go to when they need an extra push or the right guidance for them to have future success. Imentor noted in this article that young adults, especially those of color, are falling behind in this regard. With the proper social guidance and dedication, young adults will have a higher chance of succeeding in their endeavors.

  5. I am very happy that this article was brought to my attention. This is because I agree with most of, if not the entirety of the points it raises. As a college student who is just beginning my studies, I have already began thinking about my future career goals. This is obviously important for myself, as well as my fellow classmates, all attend college with likeminded goals. Whether that is to be hired for our dream job, or start our own business, we unnoticeably feel as if higher education is required for us to advance through life. With this being said, it is important for us to prepare ourselves for what is to come. For those who seek to be hired by an employer in their field of choice, it is necessary to put yourself in place of that specific person. What does your field of work require? What does a typical day in that field of work look like? What skillsets are used throughout that day? There may be many different answers to these questions. However, one can be seen reoccurring through each of them; the outstanding use of social interaction and networking with others, whether that means customers or other employees. That is why it is so vital for the employer to recognize these skills throughout the people they choose to hire. Just one of the countless reasons why this is important for the employer is the outstanding fact that you, as the employee, are the face of the brand. That means any problematic social situation that you are put in, must be handled within the likes and means of the company. That is what the employer is always expecting from you and that is why networking skills are valued so diligently throughout the work force.

  6. I believe that networking is very important when it comes to getting a job for many reasons. First, I believe that networking is an important factor when it comes to getting a job because as stated at the beginning of the article “Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking” (Forbes). In addition to this, I feel that networking can help you put yourself to an advantage over the other people that are not networking. This can put the people that are networking to an advantage because it shows that they have more interest compared to the people who are not networking. Again, social connections can help people in the future from now. Say, for example, one of my classmates which is whom my friend throughout high school or college ends up getting a job that I want and I end up applying years after they have said so job, they can put in a good word for me and help me get said so job. In addition to this the article, states that “We know that networks have a real impact on career exposure and career ambitions” (Forbes). Lastly, I feel that networking is important, impactful, and helpful when it comes to getting a job because it is really tough to be successful in the business world today alone. In conclusion, that is why I believe that networking is very important when it comes to getting a job.

  7. After reading this article, one quote that mainly stood out to me is when it said, “It feels difficult in this moment to center connections as an essential component of career success when so many young people feel disconnected- from their schools, from their peers, from their futures they envisioned for themselves before the pandemic.” That quote stood out to me the most because I thought that it really speaks to my generation today. Ever since the Covid 19 pandemic took place, mostly everything turned to working remotely. Workplaces and schooling especially. That is essential to where our society is today. Just from personal experience, I have found it very difficult to build relationships and connections with people from behind a screen. I find it much easier to interact with people in person. That is a problem now for the younger generation who are looking for jobs. Like the article stated, finding a job for yourself mainly falls around your networking and connections you made in the past. College is one of the first places you really start to build those connections that set up your future. When a student begins to feel distant or separate from their school and peers is where the problem starts. They do not know where to go from there and are stuck with only the knowledge they have. The article stated, “We teach our students that having a network of support is essential. No one succeeds alone.” Educational opportunities open up a world of possibilities. When the pandemic happened a lot of school activities were shut down. The best way to maximize your college experience is to get involved in what your school has to offer. For example, there are career fairs and clubs for what fit your interests. That is one of the best ways to start building the connections you need to set up your future. But when that is taken away, it is a major disadvantage to students who will be looking for a job soon. I strongly believe that you are who you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with people that have goals and that can help you in your future.

  8. The first part from this article said “Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. And others are filled before they are even posted”. As a college student, I have seen how important networking is for a professional career in any field. When I first saw that 70 to 85 percent number, I thought that was low. From all the career fairs and seminars Seton Hall runs throughout the year, it seems that networking is the only way to find a job in today’s world. Whether it is through a website like Linkedin, or a career fair, networking the single most important task to do when finding a job.

  9. The company iMentor brought up in the Forbes article is very inspiring and has a significant meaning attached to the work they participate in. Speaking on behalf of myself, a college student who recently switched their major in my second year, it would have been really nice to understand more about different types of majors and how I could succeed in them. A quote that stood out to me stated, “So much of career choice –the process of aspirations and preferences –is formed early in our lives and is often the product of socioeconomic status, personality, and learning history”(Forbes). I switched majors because of my lack of knowledge of other majors and playing it safe by being a Biology major and going to med school. This was a stereotypical career choice for me because of my ethnic background and was certainly influenced by my parents to make, but I realized I did not want to have a medical career and took action on it. The article I read gave me reassurance that finding what you really want to do with your life might take some time, but to advance yourself, you should have connections with others who can help you grow even more to help shape and inform you on what you desire your career ambitions to be. I knew that if I took this route, I would be financially stable in the future and have no issues with money. Though, I realized this was not for me and I had to reach out to other connections and people to give me more information on various majors to see what I really enjoyed and could also be successful in because money can be made with any degree if you truly apply yourself and be resourceful of the connections you have or can find. Conversations with Family members in various fields of work and websites like LinkedIn are great connections to start off with and gain more knowledge from. Interactions with other people, especially those who have gone to college and have started their career is significant because they can share their experiences that might help form your perceptions of yourself. An issue that Forbes presented is detrimental to the future of our generation saying, “The student loan crisis, the lack of a “real college experience” as colleges balance safety with socializing, and the pressure students feel to financially support themselves now has made the conversation about career planning more urgent”. Money is a leading issue on why the number of people out of high school are going to college, especially during a time like the present day with inflation issues. Many families cannot afford to have their children attend college which is causing them to not know what career they want to go in and lack the connection(college) of getting connections(mentors). In an article written by Allyssa Nadworthy, it was stated that “States are putting less money into higher education, and that’s led to an increased reliance on tuition. As tuition goes up, and grants and scholarships don’t keep pace, that’s pushed the cost of college down to students and their families”(NPR). The problem facing young people today is not only the lack of connections but also the issue within our economy. This article was informative that the college journey is one that can not be done alone and that it is acceptable to need help in figuring out the opportunities that are out in the world for people.

    Work Cited
    Nadworny, Elissa. “Fewer Students Mean Big Trouble For Higher Education.” NPR, 16 December 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/787909495/fewer-students-are-going-to-college-heres-why-that-matters Accessed 14 September 2022.

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