Career Series #3: Relevant

Published on September 11, 2015

Part three of this year’s career series is here!


Relevant – Don’t be the reason why someone ignores your message.

One of my favorite Jason Silva quotes is “I want big ideas to have aesthetic relevance. I want to tickle people’s

intellectual sensibilities and instill a sense of wonder.”

Relevancy is a goal of all artists. But what does it even mean and how is it connected to your career?

According to the dictionary, it is the state of being closely connected or appropriate to the matter at

hand. So, being relevant is more than being important. It is really thinking about a lot other factors. So,

what are those factors? I’d have to say there are four key ones that come to mind.


Someone that it is relevant is authentic, real. You are relevant to someone if you are accessible

and a real person. In other words, you connect to the foundation of what is important to me. So,

you should work to help that person see who you are, where you are coming from, and why that

really even matters and/or is relevant to them.


Be empathetic. Do you understand what the person needs? Do you care about the problem –

truly? And can you or do you want to offer a solution that helps THEM, not you?


Be creative. The cookie cutter only works on the cookie dough. There is no one size for all. So,

don’t just go in with what you know. Take in the environment, the problem, and the people and

grow WITH them.

Action oriented

Take action. You can have great ideas, but if you are not showing progress or action, how do I

know you can help me? How do I know you are different than the other guys? I don’t. That’s

why the saying “actions speak louder than words” is so relevant. Do what you say.

You are trying to achieve “a state of being closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand”.

Think about what YOU would be looking for if you were on the other end. When you get phone calls or

emails, what are the different makers for you in replying or deleting those messages?

I would gather to say those people knew who they were authentically, were empathetic to who you

were, thought creatively about your need specifically, and were willing to take action on that need.

Why not give it a try?

Visit for more tips and advice about finding your passion, searching for a job or

internship, nailing your interview, crafting a Pulitzer-worthy cover letter and many other career topics.

To schedule a one-on-one meeting with a VCU Career Adviser, call 804-828-1645.