During my time at Suss Ventures, I’ve gained many valuable skills that I will take with me throughout the rest of my career. But the most indispensable is the art of building relationships.

I don’t claim to be perfect at this, but being a gen Z female, whose life is centred around being connected virtually and in person, I’d like to think I’ve grown a knack for it.

My view of the working world was pretty negative before this year. I always felt like people would forget that everyone is just another human. It’s people, just like us, who run businesses, make sales and exchange deals. When we’re in work mode, we don’t just suddenly become alien, we’re the same people inside and out of office hours.

Having worked with some brilliant start-ups over the past year, it’s taught me that at the core foundation of every deal or exchange, is a solid relationship.

It seems like most people put their professional foot forward before their personal foot, but I think it should be the other way round. It’s human nature to gravitate towards people who we feel genuinely connected to, so why would that be any different in our professional lives? Naturally, boundaries come into play, but when you want something from someone the best way to go about it is finding common ground to connect on.

I’ve met some really amazing founders who I have built relationships with that will last me through my whole career, and these have formed organically, through taking time to get to know and understand each other’s needs.

I’m interested to see where this trend goes next as millennials and gen Z solidify their places as the core workforce. What are your thoughts on the topic? How much personal and how much professional should we insert into our working lives?