College Graduates of the Class of 2009 -
Congratulations on the extraordinary achievements that have lead you here. For many of you this will mean the conclusion of your formal education which would mean you never have to sit through 'class' again. The elation of escaping the 'teachers and books' is most certainly coupled with the fear of the unknown. Use your uncertainty to fuel your ambition; seldom in life will you face a time a greater possibility.
I am not a person of extended extensive degrees or certifications but I can certainly offer you a few tips from one who crossed the educational finish line a decade before you did:
Be Positive - your approach to every day will determine it's outcome.
Be Confident yet Humble - everyone loves courage no one appreciates the indignity of pomposity.
Ask Questions for the Sake of Expanding your Skill Set ...do not grandstand by asking questions to which you know the answer for the sake of showcasing your knowledge.
Know that Nothing is too Important - as your life and career endure you will face many challenges and will fail many times....don't get too hung up on any singular events.
Find the Energy in the Things you Love and Apply that Energy to your Professional Life - you don't have to become an M.C. if you love rap music but the energy behind that music can drive your organizational ambition.
Dress Professionally but Differentiate Your Personal Spirit - Don't be afraid to inject your personality into your job....who you truly are as a person will be the difference in your climb to success.
Never Underestimate a Relationship - The hot dog vendor's sister could be a CEO, take time to say a genuine hello.
Brand 'YOU' - The job for which you search and find will be qualified by your resume...people buy from, promote, and refer those who are unique in their personal ambition.
Time to Give Your Facebook a Face Lift - social networking tools can be a massive differentiator in building (or destroying) credibility and professional relationships.
Find a career that represents the true direction of your soul. Professional passion is the difference in a job and a life's ambition. If you fall into something due to tradition or skill set you will forever punch a clock. Find what you love and do what you have to do to make that your profession. Now is the time to figure out who you are and who you want to be....don't wait until others are dependant upon you to shift your professional direction.
Know that human compassion is not only essential in a professional environment it is the most important thing! Regardless of what you might have seen in the movies, stepping on people to get to the top of the corporate ladder is a farce. Every bridge to which you set fire will leave you further from home....you will need to go back one day!
Finally, let me be the first to offer you advice to take with a grain of salt. The only goals that matter are your own.
Go Now and Thrive! There has never been a better time to explore all that you have to offer this world!