Data from online site LinkedIn revealed that the majority of Filipinos believe that having strong connections is important to get ahead in life. However, up to 60 percent believe that they do not have strong enough networks that can help connect them to opportunities.
The result may suggest that many are unsure of how to go about building their networks, according to the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020.
“We’re facing uncertain times as a global community. We are seeing organizations and workers everywhere impacted. During challenging times like this, we believe it is all the more important to build stronger networks. This can potentially aid us in seeking out new opportunities even as we weather through, and recover from this crisis,” said Olivier Legrand, managing director of LinkedIn Asia Pacific.
In the Philippines, it is found that compared to other age groups, 84 percent of Gen Z identify with having weak or no networks. Boomers, on the other hand, are most likely to have moderate to strong networks (68 percent).
In fact, younger Filipinos — who are building their careers or attempting to start their own business — feel that this lack of networks and connection is the second most difficult barrier to overcome to opportunities. This indicates that there may be a knowledge gap on just how exactly to go about building a reliable professional network.
Those who have stronger networks have the added advantage of accessing opportunities they want through connections. LinkedIn said this is what it calls the “network gap”, and it is influenced by various factors.
For example, Filipinos who come from top schools are most likely to see their networks as strong or moderate, and those from major cities are most likely to believe they have strong or moderate networks. Narrowing the network gap is therefore a key step in ensuring a more equal access to opportunities for all.
Narrowing the network gap is a community effort, according to Legrand. “All of us have a part to play in working to plug the network gap — whether you are just starting out in your career, or a seasoned professional,” he said.