As I sit here at my internship desk, on the 25th floor of the Independence Blue Cross building on Market Street, I can’t help but ponder about how I was able to get to this seat; And what seat will I be in a year from now, 5 years from now? The ugly truth is that no one can read the future, but the present is in our hands, always.
With an hour of free time, I figured I would go back to giving my motherly advice that I’m oh so good at (I can dream, right?). If I’ve learned one thing these past three years at Temple, it would be to take chances- and tons of them. They always say that life is “all about taking chances” and I’ve never really been an avid believer of that phrase because I grew up thinking that what’s meant to be, is, well, meant to be. However, what’s meant to be only happens when you begin to take every chance and risk possible. Sitting at home and complaining about stress, or how inactive your life truly is, will never get you out of the whole “it’s meant to be” mentality.
Not to call myself an expert in the whole “chances” category, but i’ve definitley learned the motives and tactics behind that word recently. If I were to sum up my advice on taking chances in just three simple actions, these would be it:
1. Speak Up. Always ask for advice. In a world full on mentors, and older individuals that have been in our shoes, it’s important to reach out and use them. Whether it’s a friend of your father that’s 55, or even a recent graduate that you had met your freshman year, it’s crucial to maintain and use these relationships to their best advantage. Now, that doesn’t mean sucking up to them for a job, but rather using them as a ladder to your sucess. It’s important to ask questions and not be shy. I never really realized the importance of “no question is stupid” until I found myself being guided through these generally stupid questions. Having mentors and people to reach out to is important in finding sucess. It’s kind of like having a dictionary you can refer to whenever you’re afraid of a next step or confused about a decision. These people you refer to will most likely have gone through similar steps, if not the exact same ones. They failed, succeeded, stressed and relaxed already, and they’ve found ways to tackle each step– so USE them. You’ll find yourself thanking them more than actually thanking yourself.
2. Attend & Submit. Attend networking events, no matter how small. Not only is it important to build your brand, but it’s more important to show the hard work you’ve put into it. The only way to test out your confidence is just by throwing yourself into the water- kind of like taking a dive and not expecting what you’ll find underneath. These events will get you talking, and talking is one of the most important aspects of a personal brand; you need to know how to talk, well “communicate” if I were to put it in the general Job Posting lingo. Attending physically is a major plus, but so is attending virtually; and by that I mean just do your research and submit your resume wherever possible! Many college students tend to complain about not having a job/internship when they haven’t really been applying and doing the proper research. No job/internship posting is ever too hard. Throw your resume out there and see what you can find. Apply to as many places as possibe, even to positions you would never imagine getting. Just from personal experience, nothing is ever to far out of reach. Be confident in yourself and your personal brand, but nothing will ever be reachable if you don’t put yourself out there.
3. Begin your chain reaction. Confidence isn’t just gained after one successful interview or board position in an organization, it’s gained through hard work and muliple positions. After succeeding at one thing, it’s important to not stop there and be too comfortable. You’ll only realize how much potential you really have when you continue to throw yourself into things. No resume is ever “too” crowded. Being as active as you can in the present is what is going to make you active in the future, both physically and mentally. It’s only when you find yourself active and succeeding in multiple areas, that you begin to really feel confident. Confidence is definitley one of the hardest characterstics to build and find in yourself, but don’t freak out when you don’t find it right away. It takes time, and by time, I mean years sometimes. Everyone’s different, but it’s important to use those differences and create a chain reaction to your success by shooting to create a more confident you.
The world is full of chances, so go out there and take them.