I read Charles Wheelan’s 4/27/12 Wall Street Journal online article 10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You. Three of them especially hit home not only for graduates but also for careerists in mid career.
- “Create meaningful connections.” Your role on the school paper, playing intramural sports or hanging out with friends is a good lesson in getting along with others from easy-going co-workers to that non-cooperative team member. There’s a Lesson Learned here: Variety is the spice of life. Deal with it!
- “Some of your worst days lie ahead—you’ll face periods of self doubt and failure.” This is true whether you’re entry-level or even a senior-level executive. Challenges will abound in your career for decades whether you work as an entrepreneur or corporate professional. I facilitate an HR Transition Group network. Good people with excellent skills have lost their jobs for months or years not because of ineptitude but from deep staff cuts. If this were to happen to you, how current and widespread is your existing network? It may be time for you to reconnect. Can you explain your talent in 30 seconds or less? Do it now!
- “Don’t model your life after a circus animal.” Performing animals receive treats for performance. In our jobs, we are evaluated and rewarded for performance—your boss tosses “peanuts.” Don’t let work distort your other roles—that of friend, parent or lover. If you cancel a dinner with a friend so as not to shirk your work responsibility, you’ve now shirked your friendship. Find and define your full-life balance. There are times to work and if you’re always working and not living your life, you’ll come to resent work, your boss and yourself.
Donna Coulson is teaching Aligning Planning, Goal Setting, and Performance Priorities with Strategic Goals on July 10 as part of the Leadership Development Series. She is also teaching Building a Positive and Motivating Work Environment on July 12 as part of the Essential Management Series. Both workshops are part of our accelerated summer format.