Whether you have lived in MN all your life or are new to the Twin Cities this article is for you. At the root of business regardless of sector, service or product is relationships. So it is no surprise that a key to career success is relationships.
Whether you are navigating relationships at work or building a professional network, quality connections are at the core. In almost 20 years of practice a universal phenomenon I have witnessed is how relationship building is toughest for transplants, those not originally from MN. MN is known for it tight communities and long-standing traditions, meaning relationships get cultivated and strengthened over years and years. These ties are so strong that native Minnesotans rarely want to leave the tight communities they have come to trust and rely on, some dating as far back to high school.
Now enter the transplant, someone native to another city, state or even country seeking work, communities and a lifestyle touted for its family friendly values. Many will say their arrival was welcomed by friendly neighbors and coworkers willing to help and connect. However many transplants will say that they never feel entirely embraced. In the workplace opportunities and positions go to people known to the hiring manager, decision maker or board member. Those with long deep relationships seem to have more opportunities and generally an easier career path ahead of them than newcomers regardless of their skill and experience. I call this the “transplant factor”. Ironically transplants have learned to band together and form their own communities and networks.
So what’s the answer? Well, to native Minnesotans I challenge you to open up your networks more freely, welcome transplants into your communities and work circles, appreciate what a person with different life experiences has to bring into your network. Start by forwarding this article to a transplant in your network as a gesture of support. To transplants, I encourage you to become aware of the fact that being a transplant in MN will have some challenges as you build a network and manage you career. I encourage you to hang in there, the longer you stay the easier it becomes.