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The Secret Power of Colleagues

I want to tell a couple of stories, to help show the secret power of colleagues in your career success.

Story #1:

A good friend of mine works in a cut-throat industry that is pretty insular. He started in an entry level role at a firm, but over the years was able to take on more responsibility. The firm he was at had some great benefits, but it was small and not growing very quickly.

One day, an old colleague of his who was further along in his career reached out about a potential job opportunity. This colleague had jumped to a competitor firm that was well-respected in the industry.

After a relatively casual interview process, my friend made the transition to the new firm. This came with more perks, great experience, and a growing company.

Story #2:

My company was going through a transition and was looking to expand the team. Our product is fairly complex, and hiring externally can be challenging, as it takes new hires time and training to truly excel in their roles.

At the same time, a former (rock star) employee was also on the job hunt. She had left many years earlier to pursue something very different, but was making another pivot.

We put her through the full hiring process, and ultimately gave her the position. She came highly recommended, because we had all worked with her before. The added benefit was her experience working with our clients, which made training a breeze.

Story #3:

One of my family members had a great relationship with his boss. When his boss moved companies, they stayed in touch.

It was only a matter of time before the new company was hiring. You can bet my family member got an interview, and eventually a new job.

What’s the lesson?

Let your work shine, and keep in touch with all of your colleagues!

Networking matters. This doesn’t mean you need to go attend a conference and shake hands with strangers (though that can work). It's just as powerful to have a good relationship with your peers.

This is because hiring is challenging, and it is so easy for someone to pass the interview process but fail at the job (and vice versa). It’s much harder to hide the quality of your work, whether it is good or bad, over an extended period of time. Having someone on the inside vouch for you is critical.

Let your work shine, and keep in touch with all of your colleagues!

They might help you land your next gig or you might get a referral bonus for bringing them with you.


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