College graduation season is here so I thought I would reflect on my past to see what I would recommend to my 22 year old self.
1. Build relationships and network your ass off. Join key organizations in your area/profession and build relationships with influential people. --- it took me ~6 years to realize I needed to build “My Brand” to get noticed by others (and building a brand doesn’t happen overnight and you need to continue to do it your entire career).
2. It is okay to fail --- when you fail and it will happen, re-group and move on. Reliving the failure over and over in your head will just stress you out.
3. Create a repository of your learnings as you move forward. --- as the years pass you will attend conferences, classes, learn things from others and you need a place to save those learning like a blog, a folder on your desktop or in the cloud.
4. If you see an issue, make it your problem --- doing this will get you noticed in your organization.
5. Losing your job is not the end of the world --- when that company you work for is sold and you and the rest of your co-workers are out of a job … enjoy life! Spend some me time because you have built your brand and you have a great network.
6. Determine what it will really take to retire --- you can create a spreadsheet right? The earlier you realize you need to save more than 5% of your salary to better off you will be.
7. Know your profession --- if your profession is moving towards having a certain type of certification, go out and get it!
8. Treat your job as a vocation not an occupation --- it is a learning process … your job is really a class room to learn and teach.
9. Knowing when to sever all ties --- know when the ship is sinking and be ready to jump!
1 Exercise! --- you thought the freshmen 15 was bad … just wait … join some sport teams … play … have fun … and network your ass off!