Our oldest has left the nest for his first real job. He has worked some part time gigs going through school but this will be his first fulltime job in his field of choice. Regardless of where your young adult is heading, there are always things you wish you had told them. You may wish you had that special last moment like parents in the past sending young adults off into the prairie, to college, to the big city, immigrating to the US, going into the military or just heading off on their own for a global adventure. I think we all want our kids to be accountable, successful and independent. We want to see them get along with others, do well in their jobs, truly enjoy their work, and have long employment life.
If I could “do-over” our last special moment it would include:
- I’m sorry. I wish it was different but life isn’t perfect. But, life is good.
- Dissatisfaction can be a motivator.
- We encouraged you to dream. Continue to dream big. Dream jobs do come along but it may not be your first job. That’s OK.
- For the most part, bosses are doing the best they can. They aren’t perfect. Figure out a way to get along.
- Work helps you determine what you enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. Give everything a try.
- Organizations are trying hard to create better work environments for their employees. But you are still ultimately responsible for finding the joy in your work.
- Making connections and building relationships will help you just as much if not more than education in helping your career.
- You have strengths but use them properly. Identify and manage the “dark side” of strengths. Your strength could be critical thinking but don’t become a critic no one wants to be around.
- Everyone has barriers or constraints that can prevent them from success. Try to find a way to grow outside of your comfort zone.
- Be kind even when you don’t feel like it.
- Remember people when you make decisions. Try to see things from the other side.
- Balance logic with empathy.
- The less than perfect job can build important skills and characteristics like patience, flexibility, adaptability, and cool stuff like idea generation and creativity.
- Difficulties and disappointments can make you bitter or better. Choose the latter.