Networking in Today’s Knowledge-Sharing Economy

One of the most frustrating lessons you will inevitably learn when trying to find a job is the realization that the world we live in is not, as much as we may like it to be, a meritocracy. Even if you are a highly qualified candidate with years of experience and a stellar resume, a less-qualified applicant may get the job simply because he or she has made better connections. Although networking is consistently highlighted as a vital component to securing a job, how important is it nowadays? More specifically, what role does networking play in the globalized knowledge-sharing economy that defines our day and age?

To answer this question, we must consider the impetus behind the growth of the knowledge economy in the last few decades. In 1992, management expert and educator Peter Drucker predicted that in the near future, somewhere between 2010 and 2020, knowledge would be the primary resource in the world economy. Drucker went on to argue that technology and innovation would not be the only reasons behind the emergence of the knowledge economy, but also the demands of a knowledge society. His predictions were exceptionally accurate.

According to a World Bank Institute report, the correlation between knowledge and economic development is 87%. Some scholars have concluded that the United States economy officially became “knowledge-based” at the turn of the millennium, attributing it to the “synergistic interaction of open innovation, education, knowledge management and creativity.”

So what does all this mean for those wanting to enter the workforce? Well, it certainly provides a rationale for why one needs to invest in building his or her personal and professional networks. As more and more skilled Americans enter the workforce each year, it has become increasingly difficult to remain competitive and stand out. This is where networking comes into play. Networking provides you with the ability to market yourself in a highly competitive economy, to share your talents and interests with like-minded individuals, and ultimately create meaningful relationships.

naisA Global’s Flash Advice program or “nFA” provides an opportunity for young professionals, students and recent graduates to gain valuable career advice, guidance and career coaching from mentors that are leaders in their industries. The mentor-protégé program understands the evolving challenges young people face today; it seeks to help ambitious young professionals enhance their professional capabilities and marketability in a world economy based on the free flow of knowledge and information.