One of the best parts of being President of our local Community School Board is the privilege to speak at graduations. This year, I was the speaker at a high school commencement, and the fact that it was also my son’s graduation made it all the sweeter.

Several adults in the audience asked me for a copy of the advice I gave the graduates, and it got me thinking, this advice applies in the workforce. So, here is part 1 of 2 of a revised version of my advice for graduates … now advice for professionals:

Graduation Image1 – Rarely is there a one best way to do something. Or, one best college to attend. Or, a one best job to take. Yet somehow, people get caught up in all these decisions. Wherever you end up, you will be fine. Successful people exist all over this country and they didn’t all go to “THAT” school. As a society, we need your talents fully utilized and that can be done at any college, at any trade school, or at any job as long as you love what you’re doing and you give your best effort

2 – Sometimes there IS a one best way—that’s when it’s a moral decision that affects others. Being rude, mean, a cheat… these are never the best way. These are the only times there IS one best way—and that best way is to do the right thing by other people. Be kind. Look people in the eye. Listen. Listen for real, without looking at your phone. Shake hands. Say thank you.

3 – Be open to experience. When I went to college, I needed a class and I didn’t want to get up early, and the only one that was open was something called Industrial Organizational Psychology. The word “industrial” turned me off, but I was desperate to get credit hours so I took it. As it turns out, my eyes were opened to a field I never knew existed and the next thing I knew I was off to earn a Ph.D. in that very field. But I never would have been if I had only taken classes that I thought would be interesting, that other people had told me about, or that my friends were in… I had to step out and try something and in doing that, I discovered what I was meant to do.

In a couple days, we’ll post items 4 and 5. For now, ponder 1-3. If you struggle with these, career coaching can help. Give us a call.

Magnet Consulting is a strategic people consulting firm and a certified Women-Owned Business. We work with client organizations across industries and size to assist in Organizational Culture, Employee Assessment and Selection, and Team and Leader Development.