This week I came across an article that really caught my interest. It is the five things that a business woman shares with her daughters who are just beginning their professional lives. While the mother is talking about young women, I believe there are a few messages included that might be valuable to our girls as they begin to think about life beyond school.
The mother believes that we are at the precipice of change of a very exciting time in today’s fast changing world. She tells her girls that the rules are constantly changing and to succeed she recommends some important tips that they might adopt to give them the edge in life. The five tips are as follows:
1. Seize every opportunity.
Don’t draw a line in the sand and say no to opportunities or extra projects. If a chance to learn and collaborate with people across different areas presents itself, take it! Showing that you are tuned into the needs of people and eager to get in there and help is what separates indispensable, high-value leaders and workers.
2. Get uncomfortable.
We all have goals. Some of us started setting them in early high school and for others it was a little later. If we are honest, we’ll admit that we include some goals just because we know we can achieve them and it makes us feel good to achieve success. However, we need to set some goals that take us out of our comfort zone. Goals that force us to summon our courage and try something we’ve never done before—something that may not come easy but really stretches us. The higher we set our sights, the more we will grow and the higher we can go.
3. Ditch the headphones and listen.
Headphones are great for a lot of things but here’s what they are not good for: putting your ear to the ground and listening for ways to go above and beyond. This is a huge advantage for women and girls because they don’t just hear, they listen. They pick up on the subtle cues that are critical for success in education, business and life in general. Also remember that while wearing headphones can make you appear serious and focused, it can also signal disinterest in the situation at hand and a total focus on a device. Be mindful of the message you are sending and strike the right balance.
4. Network like crazy.
Not everyone in school or in the workplace will be a friend. In fact, many people prefer to keep co-workers and friends separate. However, there is great value personally and to our communities to connect and get to know people. We also build really good networking skills by making the effort to get to know other people. Create a reasonable goal to meet one new person a month (or week!) and learn a little about them. You will be amazed at the number of new friends and acquaintances you will make.
5. A glass half full gets things done.
We are human beings. People like to work with people who are authentic, friendly, open, and see the glass half full. But ... we’ve all had people in our lives who like to see the glass half empty and never miss an opportunity to complain. Proceed with caution because these people love company. Despite the allure and intrigue of always participating in highlighting problems and injustices, it is far better to be optimistic. We should aim to be the person people enjoy working with and turn to for encouragement because our attitude is positive, and we get things done.
Have great weekend.
Dr Frank Pitt
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