- You worked your way up a ladder based on merit and capabilities.
- You worked hard and followed the rules and people take note
- You knew the rules of workplace etiquette of treating all staff equally as in don't look down or piss off your assistants and you don't burn your bridges.
- You ranked applicants on qualifications and experience.
- You earned your job, whether being the 'most qualified applicant' or by merit regardless if you were a friend of a friend.
I remember when I was proud of the work I did, while never able to talk about it, I was proud knowing who benefited from my work.
I remember NOW that the world doesn't work that way anymore and my work ethic, experience and knowledge isn't enough without that friend of a friend network bs.