Last Thursday I spoke to a group of post-graduate students in the Corporate Communications and PR program at Centennial College’s Centre for Creative Communications. I was invited to share some insights from my 18+ years experience as a communications/PR consultant (both traditionally employed and self employed) — as well as from my current perspective as an executive/career coach.
My talk was titled: “Navigating Career Success with Emotional Intelligence“. Well an hour goes by quickly….and I had lots to share. And the students shared their perspectives and experiences too. It was a great time and particularly nice to be at the college because I had, in fact, taught the media relations course in this very program just a few years back. I also did a lot of PR for the college several years ago when I just started out on my own in the communications biz. Finally and most importantly, I found many from the group to be engaging – with a lot of smarts and enthusiasm….two essential ingredients for success.
In any case, I thought I’d share some of the tips, random musings and lessons learned that I spoke about. Although this talk was geared to a particular group of students, I think many of these ideas and themes can apply to many of us at various stages of career and life.
So here goes…
1) Be a life-long learner. School may soon be over (for now) but the learning has just begun.
2) Be responsible for your own learning. You are accountable for your own success and fulfillment.
3) Happiness/fulfillment (in work and life) doesn’t just ‘happen’. You must create it. And pay attention and adapt as things change.
4) Technical skills related to your profession (and craft) are and will always be important. But on their own they are not enough. Emotional Intelligence is equally important and where it’s at these days when it comes to your success and fulfillment.
5) Things change faster than ever before. Stay abreast or find yourself side-lined faster than you can say ‘outta work’.
6) Developing yourself as a person will be as important as continually honing your ‘craft’ and skills. Do both.
7) You are more than your job description. Know who you are and remember who you are. When life and work gets busy and ‘tough’ it’s easy to forget.
8) No such thing as ‘job for life’. You will likely have many plots and chapters in your work story. Navigating change will take a lot of emotional intelligence — not just a good resume.
9) You can’t sell yourself if you don’t know yourself. Get to know — and stay in touch with your values, strengths, aspirations. And recognize your gaps so you can address them.
10) People hire people they like, trust, respect — and feel they can count on to deliver the promise they make in their ‘pitch’.
11) Burnt bridges are hard to cross. The community (in Toronto or elsewhere) is large but it can also be small. Navigate/tread well.
12) If you know it all already – why bother to wake up? Curiousity and a value for lifelong learning can’t be underestimated. They are essential in your ‘toolbox’ for success.
13) Every job – good or bad — brings opportunities in some way. Find the gift in each situation. Even in the ones that hurt.
14) Stay in the kinds of questons that keep you growing…..the answers may change over time.
– What is it to love your work and your life?
– How do you want to express your unique talents, values, aspirations in your worklife?
– What are your learning edges? Where are you growing?
…..as always, much more to say about each of these ideas and more. And as always would so very like to hear your comments and ideas. Bring them on!
Till then, to a TGIM worklife!