Last month, I was honored to be invited back to my alma mater (Boston University) to speak with current student-athletes about the characteristics and skills that helped me as a former student-athlete in my professional life. While I enjoyed sharing what I could with the athletes sitting at my table, I enjoyed even more hearing from the other alumni in the room their “one piece of advice” they had for the college juniors embarking on job searches.
Some of the suggestions were typical: network as much as possible, be careful with social media, take advantage of LinkedIn. But quite a bit of the advice could apply to all of us, in any area of our lives, so I thought I would share some of the best tips here.
- Be open to new possibilities, including those you never thought about.
- Treat your colleagues like teammates.
- Be flexible: sometimes opportunities exist where you never thought you’d find them.
- Volunteer doing something you enjoy.
- Love what you do or do something else.
I can find truth in all of these. I graduated college at 21, full of hope that I would be the next Hannah Storm. Four years and dozens of audition videos later, I accepted the fact that it was not to be and thought about other career choices, including coaching college softball. It was only through answering an ad to be an adjunct writing professor that I fell into law and subsequently fell in love with the study and practice of it. And now–during the spring–I feel like I spend more time in my volunteer capacity as girls softball commissioner and coach than I do in my full-time practice!
Oh, and I should tell you what I said: Look for opportunities to send thank you notes. And on that “note,” thank YOU for being a current or former client, referring someone to me, recommending my services, giving me advice, or just being a good teammate and friendly voice.