By Samantha Schilke, Marketing & Communication Coordinator for TeamStrength; March 1, 2017
As a young girl with big plans, I had the unique opportunity to grow up surrounded by some of the most successful CEO’s in Central Florida. From the countless stories they heard of me to the relationships I built through my time with TeamStrength, I feel extremely blessed to have been a part of this company and learn from some of the best so early in my career.
Now, as recent college graduate, I reached out to a sample of TeamStrength members for some starting-out advice. I asked what their paths looked like, any advice they could give to a woman entering the business world, and what they hated and loved about their jobs now. While their stories and industries varied, there were some key points that repeated, in different ways, throughout the meetings.
Here’s what I learned, in my own words:
- Work Hard: make it the backbone of everything you do. From their experiences I learned that connections and education will only get you so far and a great work ethic can elevate you to the next level in ways you can’t imagine. Some of the most successful people I met had worked their way from the bottom of their company to the top, whether it was the same company or a new one. They taught me that whatever I end up doing, I need to be present.
- Right place, Right time: Now, in the beginning, this frustrated me. There seemed to be a little luck involved in almost every story, and as a planner, it’s kind of hard for me to plan luck. One of my last meetings helped clarify this for me. Right place, right time does not mean a bag of money suddenly landing in your lap; it means you are consistently looking for opportunities of growth, development and creation. Working hard with your eyes opens gets you to where the magic happens.
- Follow what gets you excited: Between the better paying job and the one that makes you smile, choose the smile. I was told that money will never be enough to substitute for the joy of working on something you’re passionate about and that hard work comes easy when it’s something you enjoy.
- Move to a city: Big things happen in cities; more jobs are available in cities; creation happens in cities; and cities are where all the money is at. When you’re young, live in a city to truly explode whatever career you choose. Side-note: no matter where you are, never stop building relationships. Networking can be worth more than money in the business world.
- Be an expert: Whatever you choose to do, do it the best. Be an expert in your industry, in your vocation, in your location. Spend the time to do the work outside and really bring the value in. This sits next to a hard work ethic and can give you a leg up on the competition, like it did for one of the TeamStrength members.
The last and most valuable piece of advice I received was to find a mentor. Many of the TeamStrength CEO’s and Key Executives were quick to say, “I couldn’t have done this without ~this person~ in my life.” I am already benefiting from this with an amazing leader who has been willing to invest additional time with me. So much of what we do gets intertwined with others and asking the questions to those who have experienced what you want to do can sometimes be the best way to learn.
Final thoughts from the meetings: don’t get comfortable, keep your balance, there will always be people problems, there are SO many different industries/jobs/ideas/creations out there, and always value the time and advice of those who went before you.
Thank you, TeamStrength member. I learn more from you every day.