When it comes to getting certain jobs, it’s all about connections. Having personal relationships or having a strong ability to network can get you incredibly far in life, and there are countless examples of how connections can and will give you a leg up in your job search. As a business owner, being engaged in the social circles and networks can secure you big contracts or business deals. As a worker, knowing the right guy may get you high-paying jobs — jobs you may not be qualified for.
Or, having the right connections and being the right networks can simply open doors that would have otherwise remained closed completely. There are many industries in which it is hard to get an interview, let alone a job, and it seems as though the only way in is to know the right people.
It’s similar in other areas of life, too. We all know that family ties and networks can get you into high-ranking colleges and universities, for example.
The real problem with this is that it undermines one of the core principles on which our system is built upon: The idea that you can go anywhere and do anything, as long as you’re willing to work for it. That still holds true, largely. But you can’t deny the influence that networking and personal connections can have on landing you a good job. Of course, some of these jobs are harder to get than others.
With some help from LinkedIn, we now have a good idea of which specific industries and jobs those are. Here are seven jobs that are seemingly impossible to get unless you know the right people.
7. Defense and space
Though you see a soldier in the photo above, military jobs aren’t necessarily what we’re talking about. Instead, it’s more along the lines of the jobs that are designing and creating the weapon in the photo. Jobs in the defense and space industry — working for companies like Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, etc. — aren’t easy to come by. If you want to design missiles or rockets, you’re going to need some connections, or a beefy resume, to get in the door.
6. Management consulting
Some of the world’s most prestigious firms work in the world of management consulting. You’ve heard some of the names before — PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, etc. If you want to work at one of them, however, you’re in for some stiff competition. These jobs pay well and look great on a resume, but you’re going to need help to get in.
“Wireless” is a pretty vague term, but as you may have guessed, it refers to the wireless industry. That’s an industry that has been fueled by new and innovative technologies over the past two decades, spurring the creation of smartphones and a number of other things. But getting an job at Apple or Google working on their wireless products is damn near impossible for the average Joe, so tap your network before thinking about applying.
If there were ever an obvious profession in which personal connections helps you get in, it’s politics. Just look at some of the dynastic names out there: Kennedy, Bush, Clinton. They all come from lines of political power. It’s not easy to get elected or appointed to a high-powered position without a solid network.
3. Private equity and venture capital
Big money requires some big connections. The world of private equity and venture capital are fairly mysterious to the layman — perhaps only accessible through Shark Tank for a good percentage of the population. As for how you actually get into the industry? Have somebody on the inside. Or at least an awful lot of capital, or an insane track record making people a lot of money.
2. Computer and network security
Though it’s definitely a growth industry, it can be hard to get your foot in the door in the network and computer security industry. It requires a select set of skills, and the jobs generally pay pretty well. For that reason, it’s hard to get in. Knowing the right people is your surest bet.
1. Video games
Making video games sounds like one of the coolest jobs imaginable. That means that there are a lot of people trying to break into the industry, making it incredibly competitive. You can have the skills and resume, but when decisions need to be made, it’ll probably come down to networking efforts and personal connections.
If you ever doubted the importance of networking, try getting one of these jobs without somebody’s help. It’s possible, but considerably more difficult.
Check out LinkedIn’s research into the topic here.
Follow Sam on Twitter @SliceOfGinger.