By Eddy Cruz, Director of Career Education
 
Last year, I posted a short blog detailing three tips for graduating seniors to consider as they walk across the stage and begin to embark on their career or move on to continue their education:

It’s All About Passion, Attitude, and Patience
Passion 
is key
Attitude
 is your approach to people, tasks, and conflict
Patience 
is to take the necessary time to learn about the organization
Reflecting back on this past year, I felt the need to add a few more tips to this list.

Reach Higher
With attitude, I learned an important lesson recently from a training I believe is worth sharing. To set this illustration up, I need to ask a question… Are you a runner? For some the answer may be “yes” and for others it may be an enthusiastic “NO!” Regardless of what your answer is, please stay with me here. Many of us have heard the idiom of “Go the extra mile!” I don’t know about you, but when I hear this I get tired and am hesitant. For those that know me, I am not much of a runner and just the thought of a mile makes me extremely tired! Let me try something else to get this point across about attitude since running is not in my immediate future. As you sit there reading this post, take a moment and raise your hand as high as you can! Ok, now that you have your hand raised in the air, I want you to try to reach higher! See? You actually were able to go an extra inch or two! That being said, this is what I want to focus on: going a little further than what you initially believe you can do. As you take your next steps, do not forget to push yourself that extra inch or two. Those around you may reach up as high as they can go (just like you did a moment ago in your chair!) but they will end their effort there. This is where you can push yourself to give that extra inch and set yourself apart from your peers. Over time you will be known for doing extra to make your clients happy and as one that gets the job done!
 
Be Open to Change
Another thought I wanted to share is being open to change as you begin your career. In my previous post I stated, “Your approach to work is determined by the attitude you come in with.” I believe this is true but have come to realize it is also about your ability to deal with and adjust to change.
If you find yourself in an organization that is comfortable challenging the status quo, you will find yourself having to consistently adjust to change and be okay pivoting in a new direction from one day to the next. Think of these instances as opportunities to try something new and exciting rather than an overwhelming experience that encroaches on your peace. Challenges are a great way to grow yourself; unfortunately, many give up before the breakthrough takes place because they would rather stay the course and not go outside of their comfort zone. This brings me to an illustration I experienced last summer on a road trip from Miami, FL, to eastern Pennsylvania to visit family. During this trip we came upon a few thunderstorms that made us question if we should continue, pullover, or turn back. The third option was enticing. As we were moving towards the storm, I looked back in my rearview mirror to see a calm, sunny and blue sky that seemed like a better experience than what we were about to encounter. As I thought about these options, I realized something: if we decided to stop or turnaround, we would never arrive to our destination! As we continued through the storm we would come upon a new stretch of sunny and blue skies, and this repeated a few times until we finally arrived in Pennsylvania.
 
All that being said, do not turn back when going through a “storm”. You may be slowed a bit. Storms are meant to challenge us, but trust me, you will be better for it!  Eventually the challenge will become more comfortable for you just give it some time. Again, take these opportunities to grow and learn more about yourself. I am a strong believer that we are given only things that we can handle. Trust your abilities, move forward, and enjoy the ride!