5 Tips To Continually Develop Yourself

I recently read an article by Jacob C. Brunson on lessons he learned while working with billionaires. As we work toward our own visions of success I had to share a few of the points he mentioned as we work toward reaching our goals. 

Invest In Yourself
You're never to old to learn. Today top tier universities offer online courses covering a slew of topics at no cost. Find your passion and go the extra mile to continue to educate yourself. 

Surround Yourself With Better People
We've all heard the saying that you are a reflection of your friends. This was true as a child and continues to be so through adulthood. Be sure to surround yourself with people that add value to your life. Connect with people that have different interests than you and that will naturally lead to engaging and educational conversations. 

Never Eat Alone
In our work centric environment where lunch is often times taken at our desks it's time to take a step back and build our relationships. Invite friends to lunch, build your circle and use your meals as a time to stimulate your mind. 

Take No Days Off
This sounds rough after working a full week but no one said chasing your dreams would be easy. If you're passionate about your profession or the business you're starting it should be empowering to read industry trades or build your social media accounts over the weekend. The time you invest now will lead to your future success. 

Focus On Experiences vs. Material Possessions
If you browse the web you'll continually see ads for the latest mobile phone, TV, or the last outfit enticing you to buy buy buy. Resist this temptation and take that money to build your career and relationships. Go to dinner, plan a weekend getaway or visit the local attractions that as a local you never visit. Experiences build memories that will last a lifetime and only enhance your drive for success. 

Questions to Ask At Every Interview

Once you get the call for an interview it's time to prepare for all the questions they're going to throw at you. Knowing your resume inside and out and having examples to demonstrate your skill set is essential. Make a point to review the companies website, their LinkedIn and social media profiles and any recent news articles that may impact how you want to answer a question. Try to learn about the company culture and the type of work they do, which truly should have been done prior to applying. 

interview questions

During the interview it's important to show you've done your research but, more importantly, keep in mind that this is a two way interview. You're there to learn about the company, the position and whether it fits your long term career goals as much as they're looking to fill the position. For that reason here are some questions you should try to ask during every interview.

  1. What are the key roles and responsibilities of this position?
  2. What skills do you believe would lead to success?
  3. What is the growth path/potential?
  4. How will I be measured on my success?
  5. Is this a new position? If not, what happened to the person previously holding this position?
  6. Why do you like working at Company Name?
  7. When are you looking to make a decision on this position?

These are some generic questions you should work to ask during the interview process. In your research of the company you should also try to add a few specific questions about the company to demonstrate you've done some research.

Keep in mind that you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing them and you'll do great.

Career Building Tips

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The working world has intricacies that you can't fully grasp until you're working the 9 to 5. It's hard to know how best to manage this initially uncharted territory. Even for people who've been in the working world for years it's easy to get caught up in office politics.

Below you'll find career building tips as you build a reputation that will follow you throughout your career.

  1. Avoid office gossip - Joining in on the office gossip before your reputation has been established can drastically impact your reputation from the onset. It's not worth participating. 
  2. Laugh at the boss's jokes - Come to terms with the fact you aren't going to like everyone you work with. Laughing is seen as relationship building which is what you want in the work place.
  3. Make friends in high places - People in senior level positions didn't start out there. Building relationships with those in decision making positions can result in a new mentor who can assist in building your career.
  4. Know when to keep quiet - Sometimes silence is more valuable than chatter. Being aware of when you can add value and when it's best to take notes of any questions or comments demonstrates someone who is willing to learn and grow.
  5. Test your comfort zone - This is a tough one. Stepping out of your comfort zone may sound horrible but it will make you stand out from the crowd. You also may be surprised by what you learn about the  task and about yourself.
  6. Go-ahead, break bad news to your boss - No one is perfect. Being honest with yourself and with your  boss will prove to be a true demonstration of ownership.
  7. Keep an outside-work-hours side job - You may not get your dream job right out of college. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it. Gain skills from your 9 to 5 that can be transferrable and outside of work take steps to reach the dream job you've always wanted.

College is a Must

With the price of a four-year education continually on the rise, and student loan debt now hovering over $1 trillion, many question whether a college degree is worth the hype. Studies continue to show that college is worth the hype and more.

A recent study found that in the US, graduates of four-year colleges made an average of about 98% more than everyone else, up from 89% in 2008. 

When selecting a four-year program it's important to closely review the graduation rate, percentage of students with full-time employment after graduation and the average student debt at graduation. Not all higher education is created equally so it's very important to thoroughly research your options. 

Read more about the challenges and importance of higher education on the New York Times.