A case of mild nepotism – "who you know" is not always a bad thing (6 April 2011)

Nick Clegg didn’t make many friends yesterday when he announced that the “who you know” culture had to end when it came to career opportunities.  Those he did make slipped away quietly when it emerged that he himself had benefited greatly from an internship in a Finnish bank gained through “family connections.”

I tend to stand in the middle in the Who You Know v What You Know debate because if it wasn’t for someone I knew (and still do know) I wouldn’t be in the good job I am in now.

Way back when I was a teenage lass, about 14-years old, my aunt used her influence and got me a part-time job with the company she had worked for then.  She’d been there a number of years herself.    My job was general dogsbody and I did it at the weekends and sometimes after school.  Although not a major job role I did skip some other teenagers who wanted the same part-time job and I was thankful to my aunt for getting me the job which put more money in my pocket than my beloved paper round had but I really did just treat it as a stepping stone on my way to somewhere else.

Nearly 18-years on I’m still with the same company, albeit in a completely different job role.  I’ve done all of my training through the company and am about to embark on more (although not through the company this time).  I’ve risen through the ranks and went on a career path that I probably would not have chosen.  So, thanks to my aunt I got a job and a career and in the beginning I knew nothing about the kind of work the company does.