There is an old expression the entertainment business: be especially nice to the executive assistants because one day, he or she will be president of the studio. If you are nice, they won’t remember you. If you are a dick, they will. And you’ll never work at that studio again.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 29 year old Facebook director of engineering Andrew Bosworth met his future employer, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg when “Boz” was a teaching assistant at Harvard and Zukerberg his student.
Two years after Harvard, Bosworth was working at Microsoft when he got a call from a Facebook recruiter looking for someone with a background in artificial intelligence. When he got to the interview, it didn’t hurt that he already knew the founder and CEO. Bosworth, the inventor of Facebook’s News Feed, had great social skills from the get go.
“I have always been social and had a lot of friends,” he said. “I liked the element of understanding where someone was coming from and how that influences behavior and action. It led me on a path to study a combination of the human brain and computer science.”
A big part of developing interpersonal skills is so that we are better able to form a vital business/personal network of colleagues, employers, future employers, future colleagues. You never now who you’re going to meet and what that relationship holds in store for you.
If you’re uncomfortable with people, your ability to form relationships that may benefit you is severely limited. It’s never too early and it’s never too late to begin the process.