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For her first college essay, my daughter, Lindsey Meads, was asked to do a career exploration, and she decided to ask me a few questions. I wanted to share them here, because this advice applies to many of us, no matter where we are at this point in our career. It meant a lot to me that Lindsey chose me to help with her paper, and I found her closing paragraph touching.
“In looking at my dad’s responses, each tip he gave is extremely helpful. His responses were not only clear in his intention, but they gave insight that I had never thought of before. I plan on taking all of this advice in the future when I myself am looking for a job. Before this questionnaire, I never really thought to ask these questions and wasn’t sure what I should expect as a response. The responses he gave would be extremely helpful for anyone searching for a career.”
Originally shared in Lindsey’s paper and reformatted for the blog, here are her questions and my answers:
Lindsey: What do you wish you had known about your career when you were my age?
Joe: I wish I had known to focus more on business skills, writing skills and speech skills. Those who have the most experience in these three skills are the people who can do very well in their future career and build relationships with others. I also wish I had known to be more involved in professional/civic societies as a way to build relationships with potential employers or clients and get experience before entering the professional world. I also know now that having mentors in the early stages of your career is so important. Although there were plenty of people willing to help me early in my career, I wish I had known to seek out mentors in my specific career field who could have potentially enabled me to go further.
Lindsey: What’s your best job search tip?
Joe: Build your network of contacts, family friends and school mates who could help you get a job in the future; get people to advise you on your resume; remember things potential employers are looking for (such as computer skills, business skills, social skills, politeness, etc.); and finally get experience in a job related to what you do. All of these are very important as they can enable you to have a better image and work ethic to display to potential employers.
Lindsey: What was your first job and would you pick it again?
Joe: My first job was sacking groceries and working as a cashier in a grocery store. Sometimes I wonder if I would do it again, but ultimately it wasn’t bad, and I have no regrets. It gave me lots of experience in dealing with all types of people, and it gave me more responsibility since I had to handle money as a cashier. So I would definitely do it all over again. This first job may not have been the most ideal or the most fun, but it enabled me to gain social skills, responsibility and much more.
Thank you to Lindsey Meads for sharing her essay with us for this blog post!