2019 HBCU Careers Magazine

HBCU Careers Magazine

Be Curious “Curiosity killed the cat”, I am sure you have heard this statement before. While it may have taken one if not all the nine lives of the friendly feline, curiosity has the opposite affect on people, particularly in the work envi- ronment. The older we get, generally speaking, the more and more we lose touch with the basic element that helped to make our childhood so memorable. This attribute is curiosity. Think back to your earlier years when you par- ents told you not to do something, what was the first thing that you immediately did, yes, that is right, you did the complete opposite. You had to experience that thing for yourself to help you make an informed decision about the action/behavior that your parents warned you about. In a professional capacity, some examples of curiosity consists of understanding how your peers do their work, what kind of mindset is involved in the decision making process from a managerial perspective, and how do your peers deal with challenges. Be curious, seek answers to these questions. Be an Influencer One of my closest friends has mastered the art to build lasting connections at every organization he has worked. This stems from his unrelenting desire to produce quality work, getting to know his coworkers on a personal level, and modeling the key behaviors of an effective leader (e.g., listening to others, encouraging peers through challenging times, and mentoring). You can achieve the same and more if you are intentional about developing others in tandem with your own personal growth. Keep this in mind as you focus on increasing your ability to influence others - “Anybody who helps somebody influences a lot of bodies” - John Maxwell Be a Learner Learning is fun, even though some of us may have been traumatized over the course of our K-12 educational experience, possibly even extending into higher education, given the pressure to maintain a high GPA to get accepted into your chosen school. During our academic years, we focused on one type of learning called Just in Case, meaning, you learned a lot of concepts/principles to prepare you for an assignment or your chosen career field. This type of learning was beneficial because it enabled you to demonstrate competency. However, if you are not applying this informa- tion frequently on your job, a large percentage of this knowledge is not being utilized or leveraged. Now that you are employed, you need to switch gears and implement the Just in Time learning approach. The purpose of Just in Time Learning focuses on gaining access to new ideas, principles, and solutions right when you need it to solve problems faster and smarter. I hope that you find these tenets to be useful and you circle back from time to time to track your status in each of these areas. Whether you have recently integrated into the workforce or you have jumped tracks into a new field, I want to encourage you to build on your higher education experience, taking full advantage of all of the amenities that accompany the term “career”.


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