Graduation Season brings excitement and reflection for new grads and the rest of us. Think back to your first job. You probably remember some good things and some embarrassing moments. With that in mind, here are 9 tips for personal and professional growth to help recent grads and maybe even some cagey veterans:
- Plan, Prepare, Practice. Whether you have a job interview, a staff meeting, a one on one with your boss or you are just starting your day, invest time in planning, preparation and practice. Write down your goals. Build an action plan. Role play various scenarios.
- Track your progress. What worked and what didn’t? Write it down or enter it electronically. Refer back to learn and tweak future activities.
- Think about your Social Media presence. Peers, subordinates and bosses can see your Facebook and Twitter posts. No cleavage shots, “action photos” or blank images on LinkedIn. If you have any doubts about your social media activities, show Mom and see what she thinks.
- Failures are necessary for growth. You will learn more from mistakes than just about anything else.
- Work on understanding you. What makes you tick? Take a self assessment like Myers-Briggs, DISC or Predictive Index. Ask those who know you what they think. Then, focus on finding opportunities that fit those characteristics and commit to personal growth.
- Listen. Most people aren’t good listeners. Listen to the words and the inflection. Understand body language. Repeat back what you heard to confirm it is correct. Make sure those around you know you are listening-don’t look at your smart phone or text while someone else is talking.
- Do more than is expected. Do what other people don’t want to do. Do it when no one is looking. And don’t expect a trophy for just being on the team.
- Build Relationships. Create and maintain meaningful connections in all aspects of your life. Relationships are indispensable, not disposable.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Worrying about where others are or what they’re doing isn’t productive. People exaggerate their stories anyway. Regardless, be happy for them and create your own success.
Enjoy these exciting times. Own your situation. Focus on personal and professional growth–regardless of your age or position.