One of the best parts of working at our company is the amazing people I get to spend time with. I think of the associates at Benefitfocus more as friends and family than as co-workers. In a similar way, I have developed many fantastic friendships with our customers and our partners.
We naturally think about having friends at work; I would encourage you to expand that and think of the friendships that come from your customers. The friendships made with our customers have been, and continue to be, one of the best bonuses of my job.
I heard a phrase a while back that keys in on this phenomenon - it was "collecting people". I guess in a sense that is what we all do, we collect people. I have been very fortunate to meet and collect a lot of great friends who just happen to work for our customers and partners. We have spent countless hours together, shared successes, delivered on high-pressure projects and built lasting relationships.
Many of my friends have been promoted, given new responsibilities, some have even retired. It has been a very special thing to be a part of their lives and to continue to be as we expand going forward. As I look forward I do so with the great anticipation of what we will be able to accomplish together and also the shared experience we will have as professionals excelling in our careers, but even more so as friends enjoying the journey together.
As you look forward in your career, add in the concept of developing friends at your customers’ and partners’ companies. The motivation is not somehow to sell more products but rather to enhance your life. Enjoying the people at your company is a necessity for longevity. Enjoying the people at your customers’ is a huge bonus for you personally, one that grows exponentially as the years build on each other.