Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today's Path: Could I Really Be Six Steps Away From Anyone?

In the past 6 months I have landed two amazing internships. Both of which were because of people I know. Without these people I would have never even had the chance to get these internships. The networks of people are so large that you never know who knows who.

I have always been fascinated with the idea of "Six Degrees of Separation." The theory says that you can connect to anyone in the world through no more than six people. Some say the theory originated in 1929 by a Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy. Others says it originated in 1969 by psychologists Jeffery Travers and Stanley Milgram.

With each internship, my network grew larger. Some of my networks, I have combined; while others continued to rapidly grow.

In May I am going to graduate from college, and I know it is going to be important to know people. As many of my professors have said, "It's not what you know. It's who you know." Oh how true this is.

I have found that you need to not only work your network of people but also to work the network of those close to you.

If you were to take five people you know and have each of them bring five people they know until you have sent invites six times you would have 3125 people. This is only if you were each to invite five people. I am going to venture out on a limb and say that you know more than five people.

If you are preparing to start a new chapter in your life, take a moment and think of everyone you know. Pick a handful of people that you think know a few people that might be able to help you out with your new chapter. Work you network and see what you can land. Chances are it will be what you are looking for.

One last quick story before I end. I was working an event back in January. A woman, I don't remember meeting before, but I do remember her daughter, came up to me and offered me a job as an elementary school P.E. teacher. I was floored. I am not going into education, but that is not what hit me. I taught her daughter soccer one year at work, and she decided that since she was a principle she was going to offer me a job after I graduated, which was still a year and a half away.

She was a branch of my network that I didn't even know existed. Ask people questions and find out about them. Chances are they might be the link in your chain to get you where you want to be.