I always envied those who used connections to get jobs. During and after high school, some of my best friends got jobs with their dad's companies. I had mixed feelings about my not having connections. On the one hand, I hated that I had to work so much harder to find work. On the other hand, I was proud of every job I found because I found it without help.
I worked six jobs before my mission, all ones I found myself. My first job after the mission was working at a car rental place; I found it through the friend of a friend, so I had a bit of a connection there. The next job was definitely a connection-type job. Two uncles worked at a sleep clinic. The only catch was I had to volunteer full-time for a couple of months, but I soon got a job offer that ended up paying for most of college (plus a car and my Europe trip). One very sweet connection.
I'm still more proud of the jobs I get myself, without help--but I'm smart enough to use the connection angle to my advantage. As fate would have it, I'm headed into the field of pharmaceutical law. I'm taking the classes for it, and I (through lots of interviews with no connections) found a job in it. But my uncle--one of the uncles who was instrumental in helping me get a job in the sleep field--now works for a drug company. And he knows attorneys there. Am I working the connection angle? Oh yeah. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping something will come of it.
And I remain impressed with those few individuals who, like my uncle, go high places without the connections. That's an incredibly difficult feat. As for me--it's a harsh world out there, especially in this job market; I'm taking all the help I can get.