Mama’s Advice: Following Your Instincts!
In my current line of work, one of my main jobs is to screen individuals that are interested in becoming mentors with our program. If you’re a “people person,” you can imagine that this is a combination of listening, learning, and honing in on important instincts. But, I’m not taking this where you think I am – I don’t’ want to focus on my instincts, but the instincts that we all have.
If I have noticed one thing in the relationships that I have developed with those who are ambitious, motivated, successful, and happy, I’ve noticed that it has a lot to do with the two specific things: instincts and outlook. Now, yes, a college education is something that is very valuable, but I often think that individuals, when they explain the value of the college degree, that they fall unknowingly into the value-added proposition of “you’ll get specialized training and be smarter.” This is absolutely not true.
Actually, I think college isn’t an area where you achieve specialized knowledge, but the total opposite. If you are doing college “right,” I feel you should be learning about as many different areas as you can in order to better situation and found your own expertise in a specific area. For the true value of college is that you learn how to interact with people, the importance of effective communication, work ethic, pushing yourself beyond your limits, and truly BEGIN to define who you are. This encompasses your values, your perceptions, and most importantly, your own instincts.
Remember when you were in high school and you would always clash with your mom and/or dad, regardless of the strength of your relationship? I’m sure we all do. During this time, it felt as if everything that came out of their mouth, in our heads, proved just how much they didn’t get it. But, the moment you make it into the working world, I feel that the little voice in the back of your head that really guides you are the same words and tidbits of knowledge from your parents – in my case, it’s my mother.
So, where am I going with all of this? To put it simply, one of the key elements of success is tapping the experience and knowledge of individuals around you. It’s about learning from other’s mistakes while making your own, and really trusting your instincts, especially when they have been developed over years of hardship and life’s “boot camp.” Regardless of the difficulty of your job responsibilities, the nervousness you might have on that job interview, or the self-doubt you might encounter when looking at that dream job and deciding whether or not to apply, let your instincts guide you. You’d be surprised just how “right” your gut and nuggets of wisdom may be. After all, when you look at the headlines and read about many successful individuals who are incredibly young, I often think that fully giving into your instincts in a calculated and smart way begets success.
Cheers to mama’s advice, career books, and informational interviews!