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How I got my First Career-related Job without Applying

After graduating high school, he contacted me asking “Are you interested in a junior-level position?” Just like that, I was put through an interview and my career launched. 

The simple answer to how I landed my role was through networking. 

I am in no way implying that I am an expert at networking, but I understood its value early on. I believe networking is something everyone can benefit from when done correctly. 

YELL was a big reason why I landed my position. From the program, I learned how to network and was assigned a mentor. My mentor recognized my work ethic, almost half a year later, he notified me of a position opening at his company. Simply like that, I landed my role. 

Right then and there, I learned the concept of the Hidden Job Market. According to several sources such as Insider and LinkedIn, around 70%-80% of jobs are not posted. This means that most jobs available can only be obtained through people you know or your network. 

By not networking, people are missing out on 70% – 80% of jobs on the market. 

Now looking back at it, how I got my that position was fundamentally through networking. I met a friend in high school. She recommended that I apply to the YELL program. From the program, I met my mentor. My mentor then led to my role. 

Yes, there is luck when it comes to networking. Yes, I happened to become friends with a YELL alumnus. Yes, my mentor happened to have a job open. Yes, there is luck when it comes to networking. However, simply having a network is not enough. Credibility is important. Even if people know who you are, they will not recommend an incompetent worker or someone they don’t like. My mentor saw my hard work and saw my skills fit the opening role. I built credibility, which led to trust being established. 

The people you know are your network. No, you’re not trying to meet people just to use them. You’re creating relationships and friendships. Genuine people help each other out. 

Lynne Shi
YELL Alumni 2020