If you knew then what you know now,
what advice would you give to your younger self?
In the discussion that followed, several incredibly talented and accomplished women offered a wealth of candid career and life strategies. I felt compelled to share them with you – not only because I am a sucker for a good quote, but because I believe there is value in taking a moment to learn from those who have gone before.
The advice that follows is categorized based on focus and will be presented in three parts. This post is the first in the series, focusing on advice specific to career and education. A second post will offer success tips related to relationships and raising a family, while a final post will focus on life in general (finances and health/diet). I hope you’ll find the comments as inspiring as I did!
1. Keep your mind clear and open to new experiences. Education doesn’t always come out of a book, it also comes from living life and learning from the good and bad things that come your way. - Pam Coleman - Student Services Secretary at Crouse Hospital College of Nursing
2. Without a support system, it’s very difficult to complete formal education. Reach out to people. When you offer your support, they’ll offer theirs, too. - Tam Frager - Voice Talent at Lovecraft eZine
3. Don’t be afraid to try and fail. And remember that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get to the top of the ladder – just be sure to climb the ladder you *want* to be on top of. - Allison Asplin - Fellow at Bloomberg New Energy Finance
4. Decide who you want to be and pursue that career track in spite of the odds. If your chance is 1 in 1000, be the one. - Catherine Clinch - Columnist at MEDIA GRAZING column in Film News Briefs
5. Leadership is a learnable skill. Don’t neglect to develop it as early as possible. - Elena Filimonova - IT Manager at UnitedHealth Group
6. Professional contacts can either help or hinder – so never burn a bridge and always offer to be a resource to those you can help. - Catherine Clinch - Columnist at MEDIA GRAZING column in Film News Briefs
7. Don’t cut yourself short. Believe in yourself, don’t take it when you are told you are “just a girl”. Learn to lead and be someone to be looked up to even if its only yourself looking up to you. - Kay Rice - Database Application Specialist / Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
8. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Trust yourself more, only you know what you want and what’s best for you. - Andrea Murad - Owner at A.M. Media Works, Inc.
9. Take initiative. If you see something that needs to be done, get it done. And don’t be afraid to take credit for getting it done. - Tam Frager - Voice Talent at Lovecraft eZine
10. Be entrepreneurial and create the job(s) that fulfill your goals and are a reflection of your best self. Find brilliant youngsters in your field and mentor them. One day – much to your surprise – they will turn around and mentor you. - Catherine Clinch - Columnist at MEDIA GRAZING column in Film News Briefs
11. Don’t take yourself quite so seriously. And while you want to acheive your goals, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take time to take really good care of yourself. - Patty Raymond, MPH - Public Health and Education Professional
12. Always prepare several responses in your mind before important business meetings, just in case the light bulb does not go on when needed. In fact, I suggest we all prepare some appropriate responses for any contingencies–even those that have nothing to do with our being women. - Dina Eliash Robinson - Editor in Chief of www.FreeRangeClub.com
13. Don’t wait for others to manage your career. You are in charge of your growth. Take opportunities, take risks, and demand what you are worth. - Julieta Smith - SVP Account/Strategic Planner at Cline Davis & Mann
14. Let go of perfection and focus on consistency; don’t sweat the small stuff. - Linda Descano - Managing Director at Citi
15. Create a portfolio of interests, skills and off-the-job activities – they’ll enhance your life and give you a head-start when it’s time for your next career. - Betsy Werley - Executive Director at The Transition Network
16. It’s never too early to start networking, especially if you joined the job market before “networking” was a buzz word. Explore other opportunities when you have them. - Michele Cavaliere - VP Operations Transportation and Delivery Services
Now, don’t you feel inspired and empowered by this knowledge? There are many more great success tips to come, so watch this space for a follow-up post! In the meanwhile, if you are interested in connecting with professional women like the ones featured here, do consider joining Connect: Professional Women’s Network. Networking and mentoring relationships (albeit through social media) will prove invaluable to you as you establish yourself as a new professional.
Happy networking, friends!
Filed under: Career Development
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