In 2010, I used to be terrified of networking. In 2011, I used to tremble before speaking in front of large crowds. In 2012, I used to be resistant to change. But that is only one half of my story.
In 2010, I invested in my personal brand by way of networking and getting involved in extra-curricular activities and thus found my way to a summer internship at my dream firm, PwC. In 2011, I found my true passion in life was public speaking and now, I have had several opportunities to go back to campuses to speak in front of large bodies of students and young professionals. I no longer tremble in fear before speaking in public but rather shiver in excitement and exhilaration. In 2012, I realized that change, more often than not, helps you grow as an individual as you get to experience new things in life.
What I learned over the past three years is that I had to break through personal barriers I had needlessly self-imposed in order to achieve personal goals, find my passion in life, and experience things that have made me the person I am today. I had to face my fears and setbacks straight in the face because I knew that the goals and dreams I had set for myself were far greater than any self-imposed limitations.
To stand-out amongst your peers, start by taking baby steps and setting “baby goals” for yourself to achieve in 2013. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to make the first move out of your comfort zone. But I also know that I would rather try and fail than not try at all because all it takes is that one conversation or one connection to change your life forever. And in case you do fail, so what? You are back to right where you started but at least you now know inside your mind and heart that you gave it a try and you gained experience that you will hopefully learn from (read my blog on how to turn failure into success:bit.ly/OkWCYZ).
If you are a fan of Coldplay or not, one verse that has stuck to me from the song Fix You is: “but if you never try you’ll never know just what you’re worth.”
Tip # 2: “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.” - RK
I personally believe that what sets me apart from my peers is the network that I have built and grown over the past several years. I always ensure that I surround myself with individuals who are like-minded, motivated and inspirational as I too strive to embody similar traits. I also make certain that I attend any type of networking event that can further progress me as an individual and a professional. Connections are invaluable.
Networking in 2010, as mentioned above, was a chore to me because to be honest, I did not know what networking really meant. As soon as my approach to networking shifted from being a chore to an everyday necessity and addiction, I was able to reap the rewards of my hard-work. Because of networking, I was able to learn more about PwC, its culture and was thus more relaxed in my interview. All these factors contributed to me landing a job with PwC in 2010 as a summer intern and I have not looked back since. As an Experienced Associate at PwC, I make it a habit to “network” with my clients on a daily basis to ensure that the relationships I build with them are a true representation of myself and the core values of PwC as strong relationships are mutually beneficial for both the firm and the client.
To stand out amongst your competition in 2013, strive to make connections with individuals that are one step ahead of you in your career. Learn from their mistakes and successes. Find out what they did to get to where they are today and then strive to do bigger and better. Go out to as many networking events as possible to further enhance your network. Want to learn the art of networking? Read my blog post on networking: bit.ly/N5jMHp!
Most importantly, always remember that when you get to the place you have always dreamt to be, do not forget to look back and remember that it was because of others (and your hard work) that you were able to achieve such success. Do not forget to close the loop of networking and serve as a mentor to others when you are able to do so. Networking is not always above receiving from others but it is also about giving back!
Tip # 3: “Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dream into reality.” - JW
You must be fully committed, regardless of whatever obstacles you may face along the way, in order to achieve the dreams that you have set for yourself in 2013 and onwards. Nothing great comes easy. With the increasing amount of competition prevalent in the job market and in our daily lives, the ones that remain committed to their end goals, regardless of tasting failure along the way, will truly be victorious. Remain dedicated and passionate about what it is you are trying to achieve in 2013 as this will guarantee you success.