I'm reading a paper about intergenerational economic mobility. It mentions the likelihood that children of well-paid individuals got their jobs through their parents' connections. This made me wonder what my connections were for each job I had.
- Paper boy, local newspaper: I answered an ad in the paper. I had no connections with anyone.
- office lackey, my father: I was heavily-connected to the key decision-maker in the hiring process. And my only competition was seven years younger than I was.
- photographer, probate referee: My then-girlfriend was working for her brother and then she went away to college. I took over the job for her.
- "Courtesy clerk" (bagger), grocery store: My then-girlfriend (different girlfriend)'s mother worked in the deli and got me an interview with the store manager.
- Phone operator, Sears service: My sister's sister-in-law had previously held this job, so it was recommended to me, but there was no "connection" aspect at all, since the turn-over rate was so high.
- Phone operator, wide-area telephone survey company: My then-girlfriend (she of the butcher mother) was working there and got me an interview.
- Telemarketer, "Center for Excellence" (actual company name): I answered an ad in the newspaper.
- Research assistant, university professor: A professor of mine liked my work and asked me to work with him.
- Student intern, local city government: My former-girlfriend's brother (he of the probate refereeing) was on the city's planning commission and was instrumental in getting me the job. I don't know if he just knew of the opportunity and got me an interview or if he said, "Can you make a spot for my sister's ex-boyfriend?"
- Stocker (not stalker), Staples: I responded to an ad in the newspaper and answered the weird interview questions correctly (have I ever written about the weird interview questions they asked?).
- Planning technician, local city government: My former job hired me back at a more-advanced position. Partly a result of my connection and partly a result of them liking my previous work.
- GIS analyst, GIS company: My wife responded to a position she found advertised online.
- Undergraduate teaching assistant, university: A professor of mine asked if I was interested in a teaching opportunity.
- Research manager, financial consultant: My wife responded to an ad she found on Craigslist.
- Graduate lecturer, university: I responded to an e-mail asking graduate students if they wanted to teach.
- Adjunct professor, university: I responded to an e-mail my graduate department sent out asking if anyone wanted to teach at a nearby university.
- Teacher, Chinese high school: I responded to a Facebook post of a friend saying a different friend of his was teaching at a school in China and they had openings available.
So there you are. Some jobs were heavily dependent on connections (photographer, courtesy clerk, phone operator, student intern/planning technician), while many others were cold responses to postings. I don't know if this is normal or abnormal.