Cultivating Your Success
Recently, my partner and I purchased a new home. It’s a beautiful townhouse in a wonderful neighborhood, with an excellent homeowners’ association – the grass is always well kept and the trees neatly groomed. Just before we moved in, the real estate agency came by and removed the “for sale” sign, leaving a bald spot in the middle of the front yard.
About six weeks later, I offhandedly mentioned my dislike for the grassless patch in the middle of the yard. My partner quickly responded with, “Well, maybe next year the grass will grow there.” Laughing, I said, “The grass won’t magically grow in that spot . . . weeds will! We need to put down grass seed.” It is really quite commonplace that we often don’t plant the seeds for the success we long for in our lives. The amazing and amusing thing is that we end up disappointed by our lack of success!
Many young people come out of college, into the workforce, expecting to be in full bloom when they haven’t even prepared the ground—much less planted the necessary seeds. So, then, what does it mean to prepare the ground and plant the necessary seeds for success in the workforce after college?
The following are 3 “seeds” you can plant to help cultivate your later career success:
1. Reflect on your strengths – take time to ask yourself about your previous jobs, consider the tasks you really enjoyed, and those you did not. Spend time thinking about the sorts of jobs you really like, what makes you passionate, what you really love to do. If you are having a difficult time finding answers to these questions, begin exploring – try new jobs, or new tasks at your current job.
2. Build a network of friends and colleagues – plan time each week to nurture your relationships. Take the time to go to networking functions and get to know people.
3. Always do your best – it doesn’t matter what job you are in, do your best – your reputation for performance will follow you. Let the world know you will always give it your best effort, regardless of the task. As you try on new opportunities and learn about what you really like best, your reputation will help you get into those positions. Regardless of what your long-term goals are, it is important to lay the foundation for your success. If you do a great job with whatever comes your way, consistently follow through and work at nurturing relationships, the rest will take care of itself.