|Photo via .docstoc and Forbes|
I stumbled upon the article, "20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don't Get" thanks to LinkedIn. It was a great read and I agreed with the majority of the author's points.
My four favorite statements are below. I've found these to be true in my personal/professional/entrepreneurial life.
Read the full article here.
Don't wait to be told what to do
I can't stress this one enough. Whenever I've lead a group of people, the one(s) who stands out the most is the one who takes initiative...is three steps ahead...proves that they have been listening through their actions. If you want to move to the next level in any field, standing out and showing leadership qualities on even the smallest tasks is so important. When I'm assigned a task, I do my best to complete the task and then think if there's anything else I could do to create even better results. Think about assignments as the person assigning them, and then think about what results would be impressive in your eyes.
You need at least three professional mentors
One thing our generation is great at is mentoring others. We see the need for young adult mentors and I know that many young people (myself included) serve as mentors to others. However, I think we sometimes forget that we need mentors too! Sometimes we have early life crises about random things that a professional mentor could easily help us figure out. I am in the process of identifying and working with professional mentors and I have already seen the benefits of doing this. Not only do mentors offer great (free) advice, but they also usually provide great connections and opportunities that can improve your career path.
Read more books, fewer texts/tweets
As much as I love texting and Twitter, I have come to the realization that I'm not really reading when I use these communication outlets. Since starting my job, I've had no choice but to read at least one news article about pretty much every news topic in circulation. It's been a game changer. I now know what's going on in my state, my country, and worldwide. And, I see how misconstrued and inaccurate tweets can be. Twitter is a great way to find out that news is happening, but it should not be your be all end all for news.
The same thing goes for reading books. I love getting recommendations for books from friends and acquaintances, because they usually suggest something that I wouldn't have picked myself. Reading more (real writing) has strengthened my professional relationships, my knowledge on my passions, and created new professional opportunities. Do it.
Your reputation is priceless, don't damage it
Just like in high school, your reputation in the real world is extremely important. I don't mean that trying to be the most popular or most stylish is the key to the top...not even, sorry to break it to you. I mean that people notice how you act - how you respond to problems, how you treat others, what you post on social media, and how you communicate. You want to present yourself the best way you can and the key to doing this is remembering respect. Respect yourself and respect others. Respecting yourself means presenting yourself in a professional way both online and offline. It means taking pride in your work and doing your best when your boss is watching and when she's not. Respecting others means treating the people above you and below you with courtesy...because I guarantee you'll encounter those people again and they will remember how you treated them in the past. Your reputation is your personal brand and it's something that's hard to repair once it's been damaged. Just look at some of the celebrities who have been in the media recently for damaging their reputation.
Another statement I would add?
Success doesn't happen overnight
I think I get the most emails from readers and other bloggers asking how to have a successful blog or brand really quickly. It doesn't always work like that. Our generation desires instant results and instant gratification from those results. But I believe that the best rewards often take the longest time to achieve. Whether it's blogging or work life - success may take time (longer than you planned for), but it's okay. Expect the best, but hope for the worst. Have a Plan A, B, C, and D. When you encounter obstacles along the way, see them instead as lessons to be learned that are more like platforms to the next level. I absolutely believe that young people are capable of being successful (at a young age), but it takes extreme ambition and determination...that won't fade overnight.
Which statement have you found to be true in your professional and/or personal life?