On Sunday, January 12th, I celebrated my fourth year working at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The last four years have been rewarding, as well as challenging, testing my confidence, patience, and faith, but through it all my commitment to learning, service, and excellence never wavered. Every job I’ve had has gifted me with rich experiences, life lessons, and long-standing relationships and I wanted to share four lessons I’ve learned or have been reminded of thus far that will remain with me long after my time here is done.
Build a brand that begins with follow–through
Working with others can be simple if you remember that people want to be seen, heard, and know what they say matters. One of the great struggles in any workplace is meeting all the needs and tasks presented to you daily. Trust is built exponentially faster when people know they can count on you to provide timely responses and actions associated with their needs. At the end of the day, we’re one body trying to make this very complex system of life work and thrive.
Never trade authenticity for approval
There comes a time in life when we just are who we are. Learn to embrace the things that make you unique because the universe doesn’t make mistakes. Authenticity has many shades and is achieved when we consistently apply our most authentic self at the right time, in the right place, and in the right manner. Focusing on finding consistency allows you to remain agile and responsive to the growth opportunities that life presents you and lessons the pressures of pitfalls of seeking perfection. The great thing is that when you start embracing your most authentic self the people around you who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
Establish multiple measures of value and growth
When your identity is rooted in one compartment of your life you lose sight of the value and growth you have in others. Every day is a gift and every decision is an opportunity to take a step closer to your purpose. Diversify the way in which you measure value and growth by looking deeper. What seeds are you planting today that will blossom into opportunity in the future? How are you nurturing your goals, relationships, and self-care to ensure you are ready for the future you create?
Build genuine relationships that begin with people, not position
One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is to be fully present in every interaction. As we discover more about the people around us, we discover more about ourselves. Regardless of where you are in the organization chart there is no skill or characteristic that outweighs kindness. Keep in mind that relationships also don’t require frequent interaction if they are genuine. Remember people don’t quit jobs, they quite people.