I was trying to get hold of a ticket number of a flight we’d flown on a few months back. I called customer support, waited for 45 minutes, and was then asked by the agent to wait for a call back in the “next few hours.”
Sadly (perhaps not unexpectedly?), the call back never came.
I knew a friend at the airline and sent her a note requesting her for help. I got the details within twelve hours.
I’d just experienced the benefit of the inside track.
If I didn’t know this friend, I might never have gotten this information. And, even if I did, it might have been after many hours of waiting.
It works similarly when we’re searching for a job. Unless we’re very qualified for the role in question, a relationship with someone in the company works wonders.
Interestingly, it is also how work gets done in most workplaces. Cross organizational teams with good relationships between team members across both teams function much better than teams with no connections. Potentially adversarial relationships don’t feel adversarial when you’re working with people you trust.
There’s another conversation to be had on the downsides of our tendency to create such inside tracks (think: issues with diversity and inclusion) – we’ll cover that another day.
For today, it is a reminder of the power of the inside track driven by relationships we’ve built.