Winning Sucess through Long-Term Professional Relationships

Last week, Rebecca Strong, a staff writer at BostonInno, published the transcript of a conversation about scaling company culture and talent featuring executives from leading Boston innovation companies. In our five part series, we will explore insights from the piece and offer our take on human resources in changing organizations. Today, Timothy McGuirk, writes on cultivating relationships to achieve long-term success.


One professor at Boston University’s College of Communication always says, “Make friends before you need them!”

While many ignore this proverb, our professional careers only benefit from building long-term relationships. Some say they lack the time to meet new people. Others struggle to find reason to reach out to former colleagues and long forgotten friends. Yet, we all remember that odd kid in elementary school who now leads a transformative organization. If only we kept in touch, she or he might want to help us grow professionally. You may lose track with a colleague from your first job where neither of you liked working. Parting ways for different organizations, they now wants to hire a great professional like you; however, the long pause in your relationship prevents them from thinking of you. Your career stagnates while they waste time and resources looking for your professional doppelganger.

You can take steps diligently to increase your visibility and sustain your working relationships. Connecting on LinkedIn, making time for a quick coffee or adult beverage requires a little time and enables you to keep in touch, explore new possibilities for your professional relationship and become a resource for one another. Sustained relationships lead to sustained success.

Everyone likes a little attention, recognition or appreciation; however, a new kind of superficiality dominates many relationships today. LinkedIn enables you to simply ‘like’ or congratulate someone on a career milestone but does that fulfill our desire for relationships? Rather than a click or comment, consider sending a more personalized, detailed email or hand written note. Pick up the telephone and call them! Ask them to join you for a celebratory meeting! People value human contact more than impersonal, digital clicks…

By taking time to engage with someone, you learn what they’re up to and, if you can, respond in mutually beneficial ways. If someone switches careers, earns a new advanced degree or won a big promotion, you want to know about it. Our recruiters here, at Marchon Partners, follow consultants’ careers daily seeking out new opportunities to advance their careers. You might close your next big deal with a longtime friend who recently acquired significant purchasing power within their organization. Staying in touch makes you available for innumerable opportunities down the road.

Most directly for recruiters, Lori Russo, Head of Global Talent Acquisition at TripAdvisor, addressed the need for sustained professional relationships. When asked how to find great candidates, she said, “Companies should start continually establishing relationships with talented people, not only when they’re actively recruiting.”

This industry expert proposes that the recruitment process lives and breathes continuously, not cyclically. We tend to treat jobs and candidates cyclically abandoning them after we perceive the process finished. Our thinking needs to change! As staffing professionals, we need to look out for great candidates everyday. Similarly, candidates need to make themselves available for relationships. Recruiters want to fill tremendous opportunities with qualified candidates who want to excel in their organization. These mutually beneficial pairing helps everyone succeed.

Our recruitment team pursues opportunities to network and create new partnerships. We recently attended one with newly graduated UX designers. While we cannot yet place these candidates in roles that require professional experience, our relationships can begin to take shape, bearing fruit in the future.

If you want a new opportunity, consider submitting your resume with us and begin a meaningful conversation.


Timothy McGuirk serves as the Director of Marketing Communication at Marchon Partners. He studied public relations at Boston University’s College of Communication. Follow him on Twitter @mcguirkt and Intragram @timothymcguirk.

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