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Career Advice for All (from the perspective of Entry Level employment)

On Saturday November 5th, I have  been invited to give the keynote address at the TCHRA 2011 Student Conference.  I am truly honored and humbled - and having great fun pulling thoughts together.  The theme of the conference and the talk:
  • Paving Your Path to Success
I used three books as inspiration for preparing my remarks and need to mention them AND thank the authors:
  • The M-Factor by David Stillman
  • 1001 Things Every Teen should Know Before They Leave Home (Or Else They'll Come Back) by Harry Harrison Jr.
  • Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
What I learned is that advice for college students that are close to entering the workforce is not horribly different than advice for people with substantial work experience.  Here are some of the topics and quotes (mostly from the 1001 Things book):

You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

  • Do NOT dress like a model or rock star – unless you are interviewing to be one
  • Show up on time:  for interviews, for class, for work, for relationships
  • A business lunch is no different than any other business meeting – except you have the opportunity to ruin your clothes (order accordingly)


  • The best time to start networking is before the need (today would be good)
  • The people you are meeting now are future clients, customers or employers – don’t lose track of them

Common Sense (sadly and often not that common)

Final Thoughts

  • Buy a loud obnoxious alarm clock with a snooze button!
    • Most of the truly successful people wake up before everyone else
  • Never be afraid of doing the right thing
  • Your reputation will shadow you for the rest of your lives
  • Don’t be afraid of changing jobs; be afraid of losing your passion