Working in America’s corporate world is similar to high school. You want and need to be  in the right “click”. The right click can not only get you invited to the coolest parties, but it can also decide if you do succeed and promote through the company.

Forget your education, training and other background that you built to advance on the corporate ladder, who you know is more important than what you know. Who you have in your corporate click is vital to your career and advancement within the company.

The misconception is that management in a company only award promotions or increases in salary due to exceptional performance. In reality they don’t. When working within a company you find out those awards, salary increases and promotions are awarded for everything but exceptional performance.

As to who will get what in a company basically depends on several various dynamics. For example, how you look and how others percieve you can affect the outcome of your salary increase. If you are a man over 6 feet tall ,  this gives you an edge or your shorter counterparts. You are 10 times more likely to receive a promotion or salary increase solely on genetics. This determination was made by an independent study done on corporate America.

In addition, there are employees that come to a company with connections formed within the company from activity outside of the company. There are colleagues or family members tied to an employee that can affect how they do within the company. Your performance is not based on any services or products you have seen or touched. You simply know who you do and you will receive the promotion or salary increase.

Knowledge and talent rarely have anything to do with gaining a promotion or salary increase. Politics are rampant within many corporations. It’s similar to high school and where you sit in the lunch room. If you don’t sit at the popular table, your chances of getting voted for prom queen or king are null and void. Your chances of receiving a promotion or increase in the amount of money you make is the same.

You would like to believe that your college education will have an input on your career. Don’t kid yourself. Nearly 70% of college graduates in the workplace are working in a field that they didn’t go to school for. If you majored in a study that isn’t conducive to salary or where the market will bear new employment in your field, you will not work in your field. Your college loans are still due so you take a position in a company that can pay the bills.

You may be the most talented member of a team and never have your career skyrocket like someone who is the sister-in-law to a higher management person. They will have their eye on that person and manage to promote them time and time again.

If your politics are negative or you don’t comply with the norm, you can guarantee no matter how much you shine, no one will see that light and you will not progress up the corporate ladder as you should be based on your talents and merit.

Climbing the corporate ladder is similar to aristocracy centuries ago. If your cousin was the duke and mine wasn’t, who do you think would get the promotion?

This article is not to say that hard work and perseverance don’t pay off, there are exceptions to the rule that when you leave high school you have graduated into a new world. However, who you know never hurts with obtaining more out of life or for that matter your job.