I spend a lot of time advising Curry College students on the “next step” as they begin preparing for “life after college” and all the terrifying unknowns lurking in the corners.
This role comes easily thanks to the fact that I’ve wandered the globe for nearly three-quarters of a century and have lived/worked in some pretty cool places. I’m more than willing to share the “ups” as well as the inevitable “downs” of professional life with anyone who asks.
It occurred to me this morning, though, that I, too, am staring “graduation” squarely in the eye. It won’t be my first, but this time I have a feeling it will be my last. The time has come.
The concept is scary as hell. The exact same questions are rolling through my head as my students’…
* Am I ready for this?
* What if I make a mistake?
* Am I good enough for this?
* Who cares if I succeed or fail?
The good news is that I have a ton of friends/colleagues thanks to my 30-plus-year very active membership in the Public Relations Society of America who are willing and able to provide their own perspectives on my transition.
Network…network…network. Never stop networking.
This alone, though, isn’t enough. As the TV ad guy loves to say, “But wait…there’s more!”
The next, equally important, action is never stop learning.
Yesterday’s knowledge is okay. But today is here, and tomorrow is right around the corner.
I participate in seemingly a gazillion Twitter chats, webinars, and in-person sessions to either reinforce my confidence in something I think I know or add to my existing knowledge base. Seems like there is always something new, and I love learning from folks who are a LOT smarter than I.
Finally, and this is something I write about time and again…never doubt yourself.
You are capable of things you never imagined possible. Think about it…just a “few” years ago, you reared up on your own two legs and walked!! How cool was that?!?
Of course there will be things that you either can’t do or shouldn’t do. As a curious two-year-old (according to family lore), I discovered that metal nail files should not be stuck into electrical wall sockets…especially if you’re actually holding the nail file in your bare hands!!!
So what’s this all about? It’s about your future and what lies ahead for you.
Life is a wonderful adventure that will bring thrills, chills, joy, and sadness. But it’s yours to control, so dive into the deep end and learn from it. You’ll find it is…has been…and will continue to be…FUN!!
Then, when you get to that stage in life where I seem to have gotten myself in spite of my best efforts, you, too, can pause, take time for reflection, and say to yourself, “Yeah…it has been a pretty good run!”