Social Networks

The people I’ve known throughout my life have made me the person I am today. A family friend helped edit my first resume, and another put in a good word for me when I got my first summer job. 

I'm still friends with people from high school – we run into each other at soccer and reminisce about the past. Not all of us are close, but I know who to ask for a favour, or who might know someone that can help me.  

Happy couple

I've always believed that helping others and being kind is important. I have time to volunteer at my daughter's school, so I know a lot of the staff. I'm trying to set a good example for my kids, too, so they can continue to do the same when they get older. 

How does someone who doesn't have the same long-standing relationships that I do navigate life? How does an immigrant who doesn't have someone to edit their resume, or introduce them to the HR manager, get a job? How are they supposed to break through without someone to help them? 

Newcomers and others are competing against people like me – people with the right relationships and connections – so they’re left to swim against a well-established tide.
— The Voice of Knowing

Many Londoners who live below the poverty line are unable to connect with the right people, and right now, that’s half of London’s immigrant households. Poverty robs people of human connection because it forces a singular focus on basics like food and shelter. 

If I could just help someone write a resume, figure out a solution to a problem or introduce them to people in my network, it could help them make that first connection in their own group of allies. 

That first connection could turn into a friendship, a job, or a mentorship, and it could be the beginning of an important system of contacts that helps that person, and their kids, break a cycle of social isolation I've never had to worry about. 

You can help change the conversation by sharing what you've learned with others.