I’ve come to learn in my career that the world is a smaller place than we tend to think it is. People are paying attention not just to the work you produce, but also to the person you are. To recent grads, you may not know it yet, but you are constantly being evaluated for roles that may not even exist today, but could be a next step — or even your dream job — tomorrow. Here's an example: a few years ago, I was given the news that I had to close a business that I had poured my heart and soul into. But that very night, a CEO in my industry invited me to dinner to discuss what was next for me. That dinner resulted in me taking on a new role, one that continues to be a career highlight.
Every vendor, every colleague, every customer could someday be someone you may be working with, or working for. Make every effort to really connect with people, and recognize that the sales rep calling on you today may turn out to be the account executive you hire a few years from now to help scale your business (which happened to me) — or the CEO who wants to hire you. The Golden Rule applies in life and at work; treat others the way you want to be treated, with respect. You don’t know how your career may progress and could unfold unforeseen opportunities with friends or former vendors and colleagues.
I was inspired to write this post because of this recent photo taken of me with my colleague, Tony Marques. Over the years, Tony and I have worked together, within different organizations, both directly and indirectly. There's a mutual respect we have for one another, and as team members within the same global parent company, it was fun to run into one another and still want to ask each other, “What can I do for you?”.