There’s something to be said for looking back to figure out how you want to move forward. As commencement seasons wraps up, how about revisiting the day you graduated from your last place of learning?
Truth is most of us probably can’t recall much of the speaker’s words of advice as we sat restless in our chairs, optimistic and unworried about where we’d be in a year, let alone a few decades.
But today those words of wisdom to guide our future could help shape our thinking — about finding a new job, or going for a promotion, or jumping to a new field.
If only we could remember them better!
Luckily, there are always new commencement speeches to inspire new beginnings. And 2016 was a bumper year.
Recruiters at Bagg Pro, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg @ Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources and TurnKey Staffing must have been paying attention at their graduations because what we believe in — and the way we work – closely match the life lessons of the speakers.
Here are some of our favourite take-aways from some 2016 commencement addresses. These resonate with us, and may trigger a helpful memory, or a hope, of yours.
- Simpsons actor/ comedian Hank Azaria, at Tufts University: “Please be honest with yourself about what you think and how you feel … . Those feelings are called your instincts, and you ignore them at your own peril.”
We get that. We talk a lot about our +60,000 ‘happy’ placements in full-time, contract and temporary positions over our history. That’s because we know ‘happy’ matters. You’re happy at work when you are true to yourself.
- Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent 520 days in space, at University of Houston: “… in your career, you need to constantly remind yourselves that there is nothing more important than what you’re doing right now.”
Even without seeing the big picture from space, we can vouch for that. Engaging in whatever you’re doing in the moment is a career-maker.
Of course, we all have tasks we like much less than others — luckily, it’s strange but true that annoying tasks become less painful when you give them your full attention.
- US Senator Elizabeth Warren at Bridgewater State University: “Don’t be so focused on your plans that you are unwilling to consider the unexpected”
We can’t echo that advice loud enough! All of us at The Bagg Group have proof of how being flexible and open to different ideas and opportunities opens doors in ways you could not have imagined.
And that brings us to the next really great commencement speech…
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, speaking at University of California: “The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days — the times that challenge you to your very core — that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive….” And Sandberg adds,” (If) Option A is not available… let’s just kick the s*** out of option B.”
We call this agility, we practice it — and we recognize it’s the difference between a high-achiever and the not-so-much of an achiever.
Life happens — Plan A doesn’t always! But we’ve seen hundreds of candidates switch to Plan B – maybe they’ve taken a contract or temp position when they were looking for full-time – and they have made amazing things happen.
- Samantha Power, US ambassador the UN, at Yale University: Power talked about how the people we follow on Facebook and Twitter, and the results of our web searches (which are based on our past searches), really just reflect back what we already think. Or as she says, “the world as we know it.” Warns Power: These sources of info “… give us the comfort of our opinions without the discomfort of thought. So you have to find a way to break out of your echo chambers.”
Brilliant advice. If you want a great worklife, keep searching for, and learning, new things. We live innovation at the The Bagg Group – we keep exploring new ideas, new approaches, new knowledge. And we look for candidates who do the same.
So this Flashback Friday, put yourself back into a new graduate’s state-of-mind, and listen to a commencement speech or two. After all, if you take their points to heart, you could well be the one speaking from the podium one day. Like we say, when open to possibilities, you just never know … .