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Career development is a game of chutes and ladders

If career development was a game of chutes and ladders, job networking would be the ladder. Ladders provide a shortcut to the top, a direct route to win, in this case you win your dream job.

chutes and ladders

At work today, a colleague was reviewing resumes for an open requisition within the Unix group. Later that night I decided to clean up my resume to make it more relevant.

I felt like I did something positive for my career. After coming down from the high of resume writing I began to question my rational and came to the contradictory conclusion that a great resume holds less importance than a mediocre recommendation.

It is better for an employer to learn about you from a recommendation then your resume.


Hiring new people holds risk. A hiring manager will reduce risk by promoting from within or using recommendations. In both cases the resume becomes a document of formality instead of a document of credentials.

"Its not what you know, its who you know."

What can we assume about the position they are extending to the public?

Can we assume that the manager has already promoted somebody internally for the high risk, enjoyable position? Depending on the industry, they might be looking for bottom feeder (with a resume) to fill the newly vacant position. Keep this in mind the next time a head hunter sends you a proposition.

Taking shortcuts normally goes against the conventional wisdom for success.

Job networking however, allows candidates to skip ahead and arrive at their dream occupation more directly. Meeting new people seems like the single best way to land a job doing what you love. Get out there and meet people with similar interests!

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You should checkout the first chapter of my e-book, How-to Work From Home titled The Road to Remote

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© Russell Ballestrini.