Career Development

Confessions from Mid-Professionals

There are some things you just don’t learn in college.

And by some, I mean many.

People give you advice about what to expect when you enter (wait for it…) the workforce!

These pieces of advice could be invaluable, but either we are not ready to hear it, don’t retain it, can’t relate to it, or think it doesn’t apply to us.

Listen. Listen to all professionals, from a variety of industries, career paths, and positions.

Everyone has a story.

Everyone has a journey of where they are today and where they want to go tomorrow.

Some of these stories have patterns. Some of these stories contradict. Your job is to be a sponge of knowledge: to take everything in and then reflect on what it means for you, and where to add this new piece to your puzzle.

I love career advice, learning about trends in the job market, and personal mantras that motivate and inspire.

Posts like this one inspired me to think, what would my friends say if they were asked to give a piece of career advice to someone just starting off in their career?

So I took it to the streets, aka Facebook, and asked my social network that same question. Only parameter is you had to be in your industry anywhere from 5-15 years.


So here they are! Confessions from Mid-Professionals:


“The majority of people put forward a minimum amount of effort. Do your best and you will get further than you ever imagined.” – Simone Worsdale


“The best advice I could offer would be the ‘3 before me’ rule that my college roommate applies in her 3rd grade classroom! A student cannot ask her a question until he/she has consulted at least three other resources (e.g., books, Google, friend,) I try to do this before I approach my boss with a question.” – Kim Harding


“Know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, and walk away.” – Adrian Fernandez (and Kenny Rogers)


“The fastest way to get a raise, is to get a new job. The fastest way to get a new job is to be great at what you do. So don’t settle and strive to be in the top 10% of your field. Also…..DO NOT check-in, tag, tweet at, or mention your place of work on the internet if you have anything negative to say about your day, your job or even your dog! Your company will see it (because they all have listening tools)…it’s just not cute to be negative on the job, even if you think it’s your ‘personal space’, it’s extremely public”. – Claudia Sandino


“Integrity is everything.” – Kathleen Kenny


“Learned this from Donna Shalala…apply for jobs that you may not be qualified for just yet because many ahead of you want someone who is willing to learn and mentor.  You learn a lot when you fake it until you make it.” – Dana Ponsky


“Be kind, have integrity, a job worth doing is worth doing right the first time. Admit mistakes so it can be handled before it becomes a problem. Delegate so that those you work with can have the experience to learn and become even more valuable team members. There is no “I” in team.” – Ann Herberger


“Take high level full time jobs to build your resume to make you attractive to freelance clients; then build your client list to be attractive for high level jobs. Going in and out of freelance to advance more rapidly.” – Justine Barron


“Do internships, volunteer if necessary, but ALWAYS try a few different industries before settling on one.” – Michael Murray


“Be patient and don’t move around a lot in your career. At the beginning, stay where you are for a few years. After you’ve gained a little experience, then look to move on to bigger and better things.” – Beatriz Newborn


“Get to the office before your boss in the morning so you can be ready to start the day when they are. Have a positive attitude and find something about your job that you can be passionate about – passionate people always rise to the top and shine through in meetings and amongst your teammates. Don’t miss deadlines and learn how to manage your work load efficiently. Demonstrate composure even in stressful situations and always have a plan for your future!” – Meredith Kohlbecker


“Do NOT go into politics.” – Chris Wakelin


“Treat people the way you want to be treated! Your attitude determines others attitudes! Always listen before speaking out! Keep smiling.” – Olga L Veira


“Never stop learning and be open to constructive criticism because it will help you in the long run.” – Ken Williamson


“When it comes to salary, its best to hard negotiate at the beginning and not wait until your review to ask for a raise to compensate for whatever you didn’t ask for when you started.” – Yanyn San Luis


“Learn how to get along with everyone. It will make your job more enjoyable and only have a positive impact on your career. How do you do this? Listen to and observe others closely. Make your interactions with people complimentary to their personality type. Realize that if you have an issue with someone, it is your issue and not their problem. Don’t plow people over with your personality- be mindful of who you are and what is the best way to present yourself on an individual by individual basis.” – Melissa Bourque Lorenc


And finally…


“Don’t live with your parents if you’re over 35.” – Dallas Sheppard


So what are your career mantras? Have you ever asked your network what career advice they would give a new grad? What would you say to a new professional?

I encourage you to share your story.

Because the more we learn about each other, the more we learn about ourselves.


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