This is a really nice way of explaining value within jobs and careers. Not only do you have to be good, but other people need to know about it.
It’s easy to make the mistake of conflating how much money you can make with how valuable your skill is. People think that being a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer is of fundamentally more value to society than being a chef or a musician, because they tend to make much more money. But the reality is that if one job makes more money than another, it’s generally not because that labor or skill is fundamentally more valuable, it’s just more liquid, more easily converted to money, or simply less replaceable.
Your ability to have a good career is the product of two things: the fundamental value and liquidity of the skills you have. So, when applied to job hunting, this means that there are really only two things that matter.
- How good you are
- How many people that influence hiring decisions know how good you are
All of the games people play to get an edge in hiring, like polishing resumes, practicing interviews, or going to networking events, are simply the popular ways of maximizing one of these two quantities. These small tactical pieces of advice can be useful, but I find it helpful to know what the ultimate goals are: to be good, and to have as many people know that as possible.