What’s more important than who you know?

by Shari Graydon

You’ve probably been advised that the route to advancement lies not in what you know, but who. However, in my experience, what’s more important than who you know, is who knows you. 

Every significant career opportunity I’ve ever had has come about in part because of the public profile my thought leadership delivered. These have included many paid speaking gigs, a couple of book contracts, and a senior job in the BC premier’s office – even though I had zero political experience.  

Some people have been able to leverage social media engagement to similar ends: a Youtube or TikTok video goes viral and suddenly they’re being celebrated and given expanded horizons. 

But lottery tickets are about as reliable an investment, and few of us can afford to spend many hours every week curating an online image or developing and strategically disseminating regular content to build an audience.

When I started Informed Opinions in 2010, it was specifically to teach smart women with expertise across sectors, disciplines and fields to translate their insights into short, persuasive, publishable opinion pieces. 

Fourteen years in, we’ve supported thousands of women to do just that through our “Write Compelling Commentary” workshops. In the process, we’ve borne witness to some stunning impact stories. 

Catherine Connelly’s newspaper commentary on temporary foreign workers helped position her for research grants and a book contract.  Nura Jabagi’s first op ed on the gig economy made her a go-to source on related issues. Nobina Robinson’s thought leadership helped put technical and trades training on the government’s funding agenda. 

Sign up for our upcoming Write Compelling Commentary Workshop: https://informedopinions.org/write-compelling-commentary-workshop/