Soon after graduation I entered the workplace, I was so happy to be working in my chosen field. I had always heard horror stories about people who spent years on their education to find out there are no jobs in their industry, so it was a relief nonetheless. When I first started working I remember thinking how quick everyone was, they were talking about things I’ve never even heard of like it was just basic knowledge. At that time I realized that my post-secondary education was just the beginning of the education I needed to become and expert in my field. I started looking up articles written by industry leaders, and I started reading what they were reading. Reading articles written by industry leading publications, and subscribing to specific newsletters allowed me to be “in the know” when it came to the workplace. Constantly learning about new and innovative trends in my industry make me feel more confident when speaking with co-workers and overall more comfortable and aware in my surroundings.
Network, Network, Network.
Things in the past few decades have changed so much, its no longer good enough to provide a superior product or service, you need to build lasting relationships to be successful in any industry. You can do this several different ways; one would be to join a professional organization of people with the same career path as you. This will help you stay ‘in the know’ with your industry while giving you like-minded people to connect with. It also gives you the opportunity to speak with professional that have already mastered the industry, in my experience they are usually willing to give helpful advice or share similar experiences of when they were first entering the game.
Getting involved in your community is another important way to build relationships. There are always opportunities to give back to your community especially in the holiday season. Volunteering is an excellent experience and allows you to use a variety of skill sets. Dedicating any time to a charity organization will help to tighten the sense of community in your neighborhood, and connect you to a wide variety of people in you area.
Learn to embrace change.
It’s normal for change to be uncomfortable; this is why so many people fight change in order to live in their comfort zone. To continue evolving professionally it’s important to embrace change. Instead of not doing something because it is uncomfortable, understand that the feeling of being uncomfortable is a sign that you’re about to grow and further your success. Look for things to put you out of your comfort zone, this will be a consistent reminder that you’re growing everyday.
– Amber Richardson
Business – Marketing, ’13
Follow Amber @prbyamberrich