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Advice: For Students

Freshly hand-crafted with students in mind… Chock full of bits of wisdom goodness.

While I say “for students” reality is… these are nuggets we all can use… whether we’re in the 16th week of our first career, or 16th year.

Sandbox Grains of Wisdom

  1. Intern
  2. Keep an Idea Journal – Always have something with you to write down thoughts and ideas. Getting them out of your brain and onto paper makes room for future thoughts. Storing ideas on paper keeps them safe and seems to spur even more ideas. Cool.
  3. Add Knowledge – When given an assignment, do more than is expected. Harry Beckwith, in his book Invisible Touch says… “Instead of thinking about value-added, think about knowledge added. What knowledge can you add to your service, or communicate that will make you more attractive to business partners and customers?” Find a way to add more. It may be reformatting, fixing typos, or an added perspective on the topic. Your boss will take note of your initiative. And you’ll feel good about yourself.
  4. You are Your Brand – Just as a company thinks about the quality of their products and service, their output, how they treat their customers, how they act, react, and are perceived – so should you as a person. It is liberating to realize – just like a brand – if your performance isn’t up to snuff or don’t like how you’re perceived – update your brand.
  5. Arrive With The Solution – While you may be excited to be the first to discover and alert your boss (or significant other) of a problem, don’t show up without a solution in mind. Finding something broken can position you as part of the problem. Arriving with suggested fixes makes you part of the solution.
  6. You Are In Business for Yourself – Tips to manage your own career successfully (instead of thinking your employer will do so).
  7. Perception Is Reality
  8. Jerks Are Everywhere (So Are Nice People) – Learn from Both – No matter where I’ve worked there always seems to be the same set of people. Along with the nice people, this set includes “the jerk.” Since this is reality you might as well get used to him. You can learn in two ways (1) learn how to deal with the jerks, and (2) learn how NOT to treat others.
  9. Avoid Jargon – Jargon is the low-hanging fruit of the bizworld. While you may think maximizing jargon makes you sound world-class, you should consider jargon out of scope. Yes, I’m on the same page as you… and yes… if we examined the metrics, jargon may actually free-up bandwidth… But, at the end of the day, the habit (just like swearing) will result in using jargon when it isn’t appropriate (e.g., in front of your customers). Net-net? Consider it a best practice to use real words and avoid jargon.
  10. Expand Your Field of Knowledge – The more you learn and experience, the bigger your brain reference library. This makes you smarter and faster at solving problems and allows you to add knowledge at home and work.
  11. You’re Not Necessarily the Customer
  12. Avoid “The Curse of Knowledge”
  13. Follow Your Passion
  14. Everything Matters

Got Questions?

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Books to Check Out

Reading expands your field of knowledge. Check these out…

Free Prize Inside
by Seth Godin
Seth talks about how to be remarkable and how to champion ideas.

The War of Art
by Steven Pressfield
Steven keeps you from succumbing to “resistance” that which holds you back from doing what you want to do.

Change The Way You See Everything
by Kathy Kramer and Hank Wasiak
Kathy (a St. Louis native) provides us with a language for leaning on what you have (asset-based thinking) and taking action, versus focusing on what you don’t have.

Made to Stick
by Dan and Chip Heath
A great book on how to get craft, deliver, and get your message to stick.

To Do, Doing, Done
by Joyce Wycoff
Joyce helps you stay organized and provides a great path for mapping out your life. (Not bad!)

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