Several things have happened to me recently which really hammered home the relevance of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. I’ll just describe the one here, as it was the most accidental; the others basically descend into nepotism!
I went to a friend’s wedding a couple of weeks ago, and only really knew the groom and a couple of other people (and to top it off, I was a plus-one, so not even directly invited!). Situations like that are always incredibly awkward – even for me, who is one of those weirdos who will actually talk to people at bus stops and suchlike – but between the ceilidh and copious amounts of free booze, I ended up talking to the wedding photographer. Having an ex who made a part-time living off doing his job, I struck up a conversation with him about how he got into it, and how very shiny his shiny camera was (the right things to ask, according to my ex).
Turns out his day job was actually as manager in a local pharmaceutical company, and they’re always on the lookout for graduates, apparently. “Here’s my business card – email me and I’ll pass on your details to HR”. Wow. All that, just from being nice to a random person at a relatively random event. It is, as they say, a very, very small world.