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The best career advice

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What advice has helped you during your career? It’s amazing how a simple thought or poignant quote can reframe a challenge or inspire progress. Here, eight TU leaders share the work advice that has helped propel their careers…

Think about solutions
“When you don’t like how something is going, try to bring forth solutions, not complaints. Complaining brings everyone down, but when you contribute a solution—even if it’s not a perfect one—it helps put everyone in a productive mindset.” – Renee Norman, Facilities Management

Be intentional
“Select key principles and follow through with them in work and life. I try to act with integrity, humility and grace. For me, integrity means to do the right thing even when no one is watching; humility is putting others first and not worrying about taking credit; and grace is realizing everyone makes mistakes, including you. Mistakes, if handled positively and with grace, can be powerful new opportunities to make adjustments, improvements, and allows everyone to refocus on what is important—minus the baggage.” – Kevin Petersen, Facilities Management

Find a mentor…
“I always advise young women to find mentors. People want to mentor, so don’t be afraid to ask. And you don’t need to have female mentors, especially if you are working in a male-dominated field. At my first job out of college, most of my co-workers and bosses were men. Not surprisingly, some of my first role models were also men. Having those types of professional relationships were instrumental in helping me to advance in both of my careers.” – Kim Schatzel, President

Or become one
“As a supervisor it’s easy to lose touch with the details of your department, but those details can really make or break a team. I’ve found that becoming a mentor helps maintain your connection to the details. It’s a win-win—the mentee gets exposed to new skills, the mentor gets insight into ground-level concerns, and in the process everyone gets more energized and engaged.” – Warren Riefner, Facilities Management

Outwork the crowd
“When I was in college, a professor said ‘You will never reach your full potential working a 40 hour work week,’ and I’ve witnessed the truth in that statement throughout my career. To succeed, you need to out-think and out-work those who come in strictly from 9 to 5. The people I’ve seen progress the farthest have put enormous effort into their responsibilities and set high expectations for themselves. I know my personnel success is deeply rooted in out-working the crowd.” – Jim McTygue, Event and Conference Services

Be brave enough to fail
“Try everything!  Don’t ever let fear of failure stop you from doing something or taking an opportunity.  When you make a mistake (because you will – you are only human), own it. Learn from it, grow from it and keep trying.  You never know when you might discover a new talent, strength or passion.” – Kelly Crispo, Auxiliary Services

Communicate and collaborate
“Think about how every decision you make impacts others. Communicate and collaborate, and keep your eye on the big picture.” – Mary Anne Czyz, OTS

Think before you act
“If something happens that makes you upset, avoid a knee-jerk reaction, which just makes the situation worse.  Take time to collect your thoughts before responding and lead by example.” – Cathy Mattingly, University Budget Office


What’s your favorite work/career advice? Share in the comments below!

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