The Top 6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started my First Career

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We do not learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience” ~ John Dewey

The day I graduated university I felt completely accomplished. I, obviously, knew there was much more ahead of me but I promised myself to relish in the accomplishment of completing 4 difficult university years. The sense of completion, the achievement and the relief felt wonderful. I was so proud to complete my studies. I took a few weeks to enjoy my freedom and maintain the part time job I had worked hard at before trekking on the world of a career search.

With a Degree in Psychology I convinced myself that my options were limited to a specific sector and I was hell bent on applying the knowledge I gained during the blood, sweat and tears of my university years to a real life situation. That’s what you’re supposed to do right? Soon after graduation, I was hired within a role I knew I would love. I was able to provide help to those who required it and ensure their individual successes. I transitioned through a couple of roles within my first career and was trusted enough to eventually manage the company. Much was learned during those years and the value of this role lead me to my current career. I truly feel that the learning I have received in the last 2 years taught me everything I wish I knew when I started my first career.

  1. This won’t be your last stop. When I was provided with the opportunity of my very first career I thought this was it, this is where I was meant to be. I was helping others and applying the knowledge I was lectured on and studied during my university years. I enjoyed the work I did, the people I served and the difference I was making and ultimately grateful for the opportunity. However, after 10 years I felt I had outgrown my role, I did all I could do within the confines of the program I worked under. Opportunity arose and I was offered a position to work alongside a ultra-dynamic group of women;  I knew that I had to jump. I knew there was much more out there besides my current day to day. Don’t ever think that this is your last stop, keep pushing until you find the role that fits, the team that supports you and a position that allows you to grow. There is always more you could do even within your present role to be the best at what you do. Growth is beyond measure!
  1. College and University will give you more than a degree. My university years were a gigantic eye opener from the laid back lifestyle of high school and living with mom and dad. These years required much discipline and financial responsibility. I learned much about myself during those years and it’s funny to think that I thought I actually knew myself and what I wanted out of life. Time spent applying myself, getting up when I didn’t feel like it, presenting to professors and classmates, socializing with a whole new group of people all prepared me for my later years of the career lifestyle. It certainly isn’t all about the lectures and the textbooks.
  1. Surround yourself with the best. In the last 2 years I have learned to surround myself with those who bring out the absolute best in me. I work hard and I play hard; however, I select my tribe carefully. As I did when I joined the team that I am honoured to work with. It’s such a stellar team! I have a close, select few friendships built on integrity, and my family and my team at work keep me strong and supported.
  1. Invest in yourself. I am a mom and a professional and I take both very seriously. I am happy to say that I truly feel I have achieved a very solid work life balance and this definitely comes easily with employers who understand the importance of this concept. I can contribute to both my work life and family life without guilt (enough with the mommy guilt, ladies!) I know that when I invest in myself everyone in my circle wins. When I make time for ‘me’ not only do I win, but my family wins and so does my employer.
  1. Build something your children will be proud of. I always knew I wanted to help others, work with others, and bring solutions to their difficulties. I am proud to say that I have achieved that in every role I have taken on. I recall meeting Sheri Tomchick as I was about to accept the offer to work with her team. She told me “I don’t know about you, but I want to go down knowing I helped my community, knowing I worked hard to make a difference!” and I was like “YES!, Me too!” From that moment, I knew that whatever choices I made, I would be building a strong legacy for my girls to follow.
  1. You can learn from everyone you encounter. Every single event, situation or interaction is an opportunity to learn something new. Although it may be trying and difficult to see at fist glance, if you do look hard enough you will find the take away. Challenges will arise and you certainly will have difficulties with people and events, however, I was once told to look at my challenges as a gift. I know, at first I thought  “I don’t want this gift, send it back!” However, when I changed my perspective and I looked at the challenge before me as a gift, I realized I had a learning opportunity before me. There is always an opportunity for growth out of challenge, a slight change in perspective will help you find the room to grow and improve. 

The opportunity to work within such a dynamic team has provided me with so much growth and learning. I am not the same person I was when I started. I have learned from those I surround myself with, I have learned from my challenges, and I have learned from being both a mom and a professional. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am blessed to have the opportunity to experience all of this with the best team in the world. I am beyond pleased with the path that has brought me to where I am today. I have found where I need to be and what will keep me pushing for more!

Cheers!

mandyblog

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