What is more important in University? Academic performance or Interpersonal relationship? What is to be learned in university?
If I was addressing a room full of university students and asked this question, I’d tell them that neither is so critical. Instead, what’s much more important to your future career success is developing your self-awareness. As a young person, self-awareness mainly refers to knowing who you are, what is important to you, where you want to go, and what you need to get there.
Yes, there are certain jobs where your strong academic performance matter a lot. Strategy consulting, investment banking, management trainee programs with top companies, etc. come to mind. However, your university grades are not a make or break factor for getting most entry level jobs, as long as they’re good enough. For many of these entry level jobs, what matters more are your soft skills, personal maturity, and motivation and desire. And once you start working, your work experience and performance quickly become the determining factor over academics for capturing future opportunities.
As to guanxi, of course, good connections benefit you.Again, however, in most situations, they’re not the determining factor for capturing better job opportunities and then performing well in them after you graduate. In addition, you can’t count on guanxi in every situation and opportunity you encounter. It’s hardly a foundation for success.
I always emphasize self-awareness to young peoplebecause strong self-awareness is what allows you make good job and career choices, better understand and pursue opportunities that fit you, and recognize the things that will most lead to your success. Your ability to do these well applies to any job opportunity and job situation at any time in your career. On the other hand, low self-awareness is a big reason why you end up in job and career situations that you don’t like and don’t see much of a future in.
So rather than base your future success on your academics or relationships, I highly recommend that you put your attention and effort into doing things that will help you understand both yourself and the world outside better. From the many careers that I’ve seen and supported, over and over again, it’s the people with greater self-awareness who are able to better pursue and attain the success they seek.返回