Friday, September 30, 2011
The article below appearred in the AmFam Newsletter... I thought it was AWESOME!
Beki Winchel former American Family intern I was returning textbooks in the Brigham Young University Bookstore when I met a new freshman, who talked to me the entire way through the line about her choices for majors and minors. Like many other freshmen, she was interested in many things – and completely confused about which to pursue. She named about six majors, stopping only because it was her turn in line.
You might think you’re safe from this confusion. (After all, you have a career and the title to prove it.) But I’ve talked to several employees during my American Family internship this summer who aren’t too different from that freshman. Some would like to try something new but don’t know what or how, and others have made it to their current position only after trying several alternatives.
I’ve realized it all comes down to finding your “white hot.” This is the hottest part of the fire, and finding yours means you’ll accomplish significantly more high-quality work. Think about it: How much more would you get done each day if you loved your work so much you couldn’t wait to get started?
While each person may have a different path to finding their “white hot,” I learned a few things this summer college students and professionals can do to come a little closer to the heat:
1.Find out about yourself – and then play to your strengths. In college, they have career advisement counselors. At American Family, they have a Career Engagement and Agility Course. You don’t need to be a confused freshman to find out what makes you tick. Taking classes like this — or even the Myers-Briggs test — is the first step in finding who you really are and where you can make the biggest difference.
2.Always seek out new opportunities. Don’t dismiss opportunities that at first glance, don’t fit your ideal. Before attending BYU, I thought business was nothing but accounting, and I almost didn’t take the internship at American Family. Growing horizontally enriches everything, and can open up doors you never even knew existed.
3.Think outside the box. Students are always inventing ways to get work done with minimal efforts. (Study groups, anyone?) But you don’t need to wake up at noon to work smarter, not harder. Want some ideas? Read Seth Godin’s blog!
4.Never stop learning! Learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom, and it doesn’t end when you graduate or receive that big promotion. By taking every chance you have to learn, you’ll be that much more valuable and have more to contribute.
5.Be willing to give it 200 percent. Even though this doesn’t make sense mathematically, when you give it your all and then some, amazing things can happen – including inspiring other people.
6.Pay attention to things (and people) around you. We’ve all heard it before: networking is so important. I was once told: Get to know what people love and then love what they love – then they will love you. Listen to others, and then do the small things to build and keep relationships. Think of each thing as one stone in a wall. It doesn’t look like much close up, but if you step back, you’ll see something magnificent.
I say, find your “white hot.” Whether your desk is a cubicle with dual monitors and spreadsheets or a kitchen table next to some instant ramen, you stand to gain so much by searching for the heat.
Beki Winchel is a public relations and business management student at Brigham Young University. She also works part-time in Sales Business Technology. She spent this past summer as an intern at American Family. You can find out more and connect with Beki at http://about.me/bekiwinchel.