I have the privilege of having a one-on-one meeting with my boss every month to ask her advice on perplexing business questions and situations I encounter. This blog mini-series features the professional advice she gives and the impact her mentorship has on my business sense. Let’s dive into this second session and learn from a pro.
What key lessons have you learned throughout your career?
Stay humble and work hard especially when people don’t see it. You will reap the harvest of the seeds that you plant. What you invest right now in developing your career will result in what you receive in the future. For example, if you invest in attention to detail, this will become a practiced skill with a high accuracy rate and applies to any future job. This applies to any skill you put your effort into.
Keep learning! Whether that looks like going back to school for more education or conducting your own personal research, learning is a vital part of your growth as a person. Read books on topics you want to learn more about. Keep educating yourself with the new technology, new information that is available to you, and new trends that are constantly changing. Be a learner in everything you do. Part of being a learner means being a good listener. You will be surprised by how much wisdom you can gain from other people.
The key to financial success is to be a generous giver. As believers, we should give the best portion of our money to God and others rather than only what is left over. Learn how to invest! It’s not just about saving your money, it's about growing your money. Young professionals have the advantage of time to grow their money. Invest wisely, and first and foremost, pay off your debts as soon as possible. If an opportunity presents itself, and you will be making money by investing, invest! “Investing” is not only about money, it is also about the time you spend. Don’t invest in materialistic things for self-pleasure, invest in memories! Go to get coffee or dinner with your friends. Have your family over for a meal. Spend time with the people who bring you peace and joy. Have a good balance with your money and make time for the people around you. Don’t be too cautious and cause yourself to miss out on life, but don’t be reckless either.
How are you able to continually compartmentalize your work life and personal life?
This is a very difficult skill to acquire. You have to have a very clear picture of what is important to you. By doing this, you are setting necessary priorities. I had to put a pause on an educational goal of mine because of the needs of a family member. I had the choice to either keep pursuing that personal goal or to invest in time with my family member. I chose what was most important and set aside my personal goals.
Make sure to arrange your day so that you are most effective during your work hours. Most often, it’s not the amount of hours you work but the amount of focus you put into your work. Having your priorities set during the day allows you to be more productive. Get the "frog" out of the way, aka, whatever task you have been procrastinating on, do it first! Once you take care of that, you will feel ready to take on the rest of your tasks.
It’s important to take care of yourself outside of work and make sure that you are doing well. Yes, you may be very busy, but taking care of your body is vital. Sleep and health directly affect every other part of our lives. Emotional well-being is also important. We need a tribe of people to surround us (our family and friends). We need to be able to take good care of ourselves before we can take good care of others.
What would you say makes someone a good leader?
Be just and fair, keep the larger picture in mind, be a good listener, and be empathetic. As a leader, you don’t want to make decisions based on only one set of data or an emotional response. You have to be able to take on all of the information that is presented and analyze it before making a decision. Being fair also ties into humility. Recognize that as a leader, you are not in the position to dictate how everything goes. Have a good balance and try to look at things from different perspectives.
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Contributor: Jessica Carrera, Associate Editor at TSE Worldwide Press, holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Biola University. She aspires to touch the lives of others through her words.