Value your contacts, not your experience

So as we develop our careers, we tend to do two things, acquire vast experience, and make acquaintances. When we write our resumes, we put a lot of emphasis on the years spent on a project or in a role. We demonstrate the amount of experiences we’ve had but what about the relationships?

We don’t tend to disclose how many people we are friends with. How many industry peers we network with or how many mentors we’ve had along the way.

When I look back on all the jobs I’ve had, I cherish the people I met and worked with more so than the experiences they gave me. Sure, I value the maturity and confidence that experience has afforded me but I tend to value the relationships even more.

On LinkedIn, it’s possible to get a glimpse of how well connected and regarded someone is. This is the benefit of having social media enhance your CV rather than just publish it. Firstly you can observe how many contacts a person has. You could also note the number of recommendations the person has received. Lastly, whilst it has received a lot of criticisms for not being validated, the endorsements someone has received can also be an indication. I understand that endorsements are easy to achieve and most of them are “thank you” gestures for having endorsed someone else but quantity can still be still indicate confidence in someone. I have been endorsed for one skill by 45 other connections. Whilst other more connected people might be endorsed by hundreds, it’s worth noting that 45 people who know me, acknowledge the skill I declare to have.

Returning back to my original topic; human relations are unique. You could be working alongside the same people however, each team member will develop relationships differently to everyone else. Whilst I am grateful for all the jobs I’ve had in the past, the most rewarding aspect has been to know the many people I’ve met along the way.

I look forward to meeting so many more people whom I can build relationships with far more than the great experiences that await me.