Timeless Truths for Success
On the first day of my new job at Michels, I walked out of a meeting and guess who was there to greet me with a friendly smile and a few co-workers at his side? Go figure, a former student! As a former high school teacher, I've easily become comfortable to the surprises of running into students in the most unexpected places...vacations, medical appointments, and cold late night emergency shopping runs when I'd rather have stayed home and just went to bed. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoy seeing them and catching up on their lives and careers, so I was happy to see him. In this case, it was even more of a joy to see his familiar face eager to help me feel welcomed into my new environment. He instantly became the teacher, and I the student.
In my previous years as a career and technical educator, I assisted in helping many students prepare and apply for their first jobs. Now that I've finally graduated from high school (again!) and have my first big girl job in the real world outside my comfort zone of education, I was put into the position of personally applying what I had been teaching. Yes, I made a few newbie blunders like everyone does, but also confirmed first hand that I was teaching them these things which still ring true to be successful in any job:
Character Matters - An organization's reputation is only as good as the strength of character in the people who work there. Organizations and individuals have suffered because of poor character. Our true character shows up when no one is watching and eventually is revealed.
Develop Your Strengths - Strengths are based on our natural talents not the skills we learned, and we use them effortlessly. When we develop our natural talents they become our strengths. Connecting with tasks which use our strengths brings value to an organization and engages us.
Communication is Essential - Communication happens face-to-face, with body language and tone of voice, over the phone, via email or text, through filling out forms and logs, or writing a report. If our message is not legible, clear, complete, accurate, or respectful, it will end up costing more time and resources to correct the miscommunication than it would to get it right the first time.
Collaboration Improves Results - Tapping into the collective perspectives, strengths, skills, knowledge, resources, and experiences of your diverse network will elevate any project. Don't be shy about initiating the collaboration.
Working Smart Increases Productivity - Develop habits, routines, and schedules which help you manage your mental energy. Organize your workspace. Eliminate distractions and interruptions. Energy is drained by negativity, so remain positive.
Computer Skills are Foundational - Whether your job is in the office or out in the field, being comfortable using the computer and other technologies is now a given. Learn more than the basics of popular software or those used in your industry.
Be Willing to Learn and Try New Tasks - A zest for learning and gaining new experiences helps you to personally and professionally grow. Your enthusiasm could even encourage and energize others to do the same.
As one of the first people many new hires meet here at Michels, I try to instantly make them at ease and welcomed into the Michels family while being a trainer and resource for them...just like my former student did for me!