Every so often circumstances happen that cause me to look back over my life. While looking in the rear view mirror, I try to see if I am progressing. Sometimes I discover I need to continue on the path I am traveling. Other times, I see that I need to take a new route. Having repeated this several times I noticed three reoccurring themes I think could be helpful to young professionals.
Work Hard and Smart
When I was a young professional concerned about not earning enough money, the advice I received from older professionals was to get an additional job. When I still wasn’t making enough, I was encouraged to pick up a third job. I found myself with three jobs at once. I was working hard, but I was not working smart. I was often tired and cranky from the long hours I was keeping. At a certain point all the work I was doing was counterproductive. I had to find one job to replace the three jobs I had.
Remember Your Ultimate Goals
It is easy to get off track. You could be offered promotions and positions that sound great when you say them out loud, but they may not be helping you achieve your ultimate goals. There are lots of people that by most estimations have successful careers, but they are unfulfilled. The reason, they did not remain on a course to obtain their goals. When taking a new position or responsibility, determine whether it will help you reach your ultimate goals.
Nobody Owes You Anything and Vice Versa
The best depiction of this is in professional sports. Wilt Chamberlain was arguably the most dominating player the NBA has ever seen. While playing with the Philadelphia 76ers he scored 100 points in a game, often led the league in scoring, and won a championship. Still, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, proving that in business everyone has objectives and reaching those objectives often supersedes loyalty. I am not encouraging anyone to discard professional decency, but keep in mind, you are an asset to the company you work for. Assets are often traded for gain. Your job should also be an asset working for you. When it ceases to be as profitable as it once was, it might be time to trade it.
These are just some of the lessons I have learned on my professional journey. When reviewing these suggestions, keep in mind they may need to be amended slightly to work for you. I hope these tips serve you as well as they have served me.
About the Author: Shun McGhee graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in Business Management. Stemming from a desire to positively impact the community, he entered the teaching profession. As a member of the Special Education Department, history and English were his core subjects. He also taught English for Speakers of Other Languages.
Upon discovering a personal need to broaden his experience beyond the classroom, but still wanting to remain within academia, Shun accepted a position at American Public University System as a student advisor in 2008. Later, he moved from the position of student advisor to the Department of Student and Alumni Affairs where he has worked in Career Services as a resume review specialist.
Shun holds the academic process in high esteem. He appreciates having the opportunity to assist students make important life decisions and hopes they are motivated to excel after interacting with him.
Ready When You Are
At American Public University, students are priority one. We are committed to providing quality education, superior student resources, and affordable tuition. In fact, while post-secondary tuition has risen sharply nationwide, the university continues to offer affordable tuition without sacrificing academic quality.