Why 1 extraordinary relationship can be worth more than your job

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A job can give you a salary, but an extraordinary human being can lead you to a lifetime of opportunities you would never have been able to find yourself.

While chatting over the water cooler (known as the Zippo in our office), my colleague explained to me how the job I had accepted was not about the specific role at all.

She said, “I brought you here to make a relationship with an extraordinary person who one day might change your career. The job is secondary.”

What she was trying to explain to me was that our sales coach was one of those rare Yoda’s of the business world.

He had an amazing network, sage advice, decades of experience, was a good example of a family man, was calm under extreme pressure, had invested in startups with his own money, and could teach both of us more than we might have learned at work otherwise.

Even if I got fired the next day, that one relationship would have been worth more than the salary and the fancy job title.

Here’s why choosing a career based on one extraordinary relationship can produce phenomenal results.

That one relationship can lead to many more careers

When you meet someone in your career who is extraordinary, they typically display one or more traits:

  • Humility
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • A strong leadership quality
  • A natural kindness towards people
  • The ability to connect with just about anyoneOur Yoda Sales Coach ticked all these boxes. It was easy to see how no matter what happened to me at work, this relationship could do one thing: lead to many more careers in the future.

A person who displays these charming human qualities will always have an opportunity. And when they have an opportunity, if the relationship you have with them is strong, that can help you too.

They can bring you with them to the next company.

They can introduce you to people who can support your career goals.

They can mentor you when times get tough.

They can hire you as a contractor and support your desire for flexible working.

A job can give you a salary, but an extraordinary human being can lead you to a lifetime of opportunities you would never have been able to find yourself.

Choose a human, not a company logo

One mistake I made early in my career was chasing career opportunities based on the company’s brand. But a company is nothing more than a legal entity with a registered business number. It’s the people within that legal entity that determine what you will get out of your career as well as yourself.

With the right people at work, you can do incredible things.

With the wrong people at work, you can quickly hate going to work each day and become a weekend worshipper.

The perks at work are nice, but if the leader you work with won’t give you space or time to enjoy them, what’s the point?

What do these people see in your that makes them extraordinary?

When assessing my relationship with this sales coach, I realized that it was his ability to see untapped potential in people that made him different.

He saw me as more than a writer. He saw me as a people leader; he saw me as a thought leader; he saw me as an innovator; he saw me as a pioneer in technology. I never saw any of this potential in myself until he did first.

Final Thought

When contemplating your next career choice, see if you can carefully stumble across one extraordinary relationship that has the power to change your career and make the salary, company name, and job title secondary.

If someone says, “You must work here because of this extraordinary person,” consider that thought even if the career opportunity is unusual or doesn’t meet all of your other criteria.

Each of us is going to have many careers in our lifetime and having one strong relationship that can help you find them is far better than taking a career that will only serve your needs short-term.

It’s the people we do business that make it all worth it.

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