There’s one thing that matters more than your experience:
I realize it may seem counter-intuitive to focus on something other than your experience. After all, that is all we’ve been taught. Get the degree; get the experience; get the job… right?
While the experience gained in your past is certain, your potential requires something more than experience. Consider this: when it comes to your career – and the solution you can provide – there are two conversations you can have:
- One conversation centers on your experience.
- The other answers the question: “Can you help us?”
Which one do you think is more important – to your relationships, your team, and your career?
Consider This story
A young couple are having a date night on Saturday night. They have two options for a babysitter for their two-year-old child:
- The first option is your new neighbor – she moved in last week. She’s in her late 60′s and has an advanced degree in early childhood development. She’s also spent her career running a daycare center in another state, and she has over 30 years of experience.
- Your other option is your next door neighbor. She’s 17 years old, and you’ve known her since she was about the same age as your pre-schooler. You’ve watched her grow up, you know her parents, and she’s babysat for you on several other occasions.
Who do you choose? The new neighbor with all the experience? Or do you choose the kid next door – the one that you know personally?
Ask any mom, and she’ll tell you the right answer: “Trust trumps experience, every time. You with who you know.”
This same standard applies to your career: Relationships and trust are more important than experience. When it comes to making important decisions, an employer will always go with who they know.
So when it comes to managing your career more effectively, think about how you can cultivate the relationships that build the trust you need. Sure, that advanced degree from Northwestern or Penn State is impressive; but in today’s job market, where relationships are everything, if I don’t know you – personally – I don’t know, or maybe even care, how much that degree really means to my business. And in most cases, neither does your next boss.
Next time you’re in a career-related conversation, and the discussion starts to get really, move away from a history lesson. Instead, start forming your solution – a solution that’s based on collaboration and trust.
In today’s “Trust Economy” – that is how opportunity is won.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Westfall Online!
About the Author: Chris Westfall is the national elevator pitch champion, an author and keynote speaker. His latest book is Bulletproof Branding. Chris is also an award-winning MBA instructor who has appeared on CNN, ABC NEWS and in The NEW YORK POST. A consultant to Fortune 500 companies, he regularly speaks to colleges on the topic of leadership and effective communication. Follow Chris on Twitter!