Best Career Advice I’ve Read This Year | The Frugalista

Best Career Advice I’ve Read This Year

by frugalista on August 26, 2013

Young Professional WomenSo, I write about frugal and fab living because I think of frugality as a way to achieve financial empowerment. Another way to be empowered is to have a great career with fabulous pay. The more money you earn, the more opportunities that you have in life. You can’t cut your way to growth. That’s why I have a relationship with Career Builder, so you can apply for new jobs while reading TheFrugalista.com.

I ran across an article this year, How To Achieve True Job Security, and it’s totally fine-tuned my thinking on career – even social – development. I’m a big believer that your network determines your net worth. This article was more detailed than that adage. The author details how to build a network of people who trust you and have your back. The article teaches how to identify who you should be spending your professional time nurturing. You need 20 people who trust you to achieve job security.

From the article “How to Achieve True Job Security” by Geoffery James:


The only business contacts that are truly important are the ones that really trust you. Here’s a quick test.

Sit down in a quiet place and list out everyone you know. Include friends, family, colleagues, co-workers. Take about 20 minutes. Once you’ve built your list, rate those contacts according to the following numerical scale:

How much does this person trust me?

1 = Completely. He/she will always me call back, will always meet with me.
2 = Moderately. He/she will probably me call back, probably meet with me.
3 = Vaguely. He/she might call me back, might meet with me.
Now go through the list and scratch out all the 2s and 3s, because they aren’t real business contacts. Not when it comes to something important. The 2s and 3s don’t contribute an iota to your job security because they don’t trust you enough to find you job. Period. End of story.

Rule of thumb: If you’ve got 20 or more people who trust you (i.e. you gave them a “1″) you have true job security.

I had an “aha moment” after reading that passage. I know a lot of people. A lot of people may know my name. That doesn’t mean that I’m building my network. It means I’m exposed. Meh.

I immediately did the exercise in article, combing through my list of contacts and really thought about who in the past had ignored my emails or broke off planned calls or meetings. A few of those contacts got blocked from my G-Chat and Facebook chat. It’s not that they did anything wrong. I needed to refocus where I spent my time. Answering every ping from someone who may or may not answer an email from me is not a smart use of my time. We all want job security. People who treat you as an optional connection won’t offer job security. It’s never a good idea to spend your days selling your talents to people who aren’t buying.

I also did the exercise in my personal life. There’s a big difference between someone who is in your social circle and someone who is a friend. It’s best to learn that difference as soon as possible. If you spend all of your time nurturing friendships that deliver little return, you are building relationships with the security of a house of cards.

I’m always open to new connections, but I’m also much smarter about where I spend my time. As I wrote before, my motto/tagline/personal theme for this year is “Time Well Spent.”

In your career and personal life, make sure that you are cultivating people who can be “Number 1s” to you. You must do your part to bring value to the relationship, but be sure to surround yourself around people who want to see you win. Your bank account depends on it!

What’s the best career advice that you’ve gotten?

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