10 lessons from a young professional

On Jan. 4, 2004 I joined the Imagine team as a full-time employee after interning during my last semester of college at UNLV. I can’t believe 10 years have passed. I have learned a lot in the last decade and thought I would share 10 of these lessons here.

 1.      Work is work. But where you work is really what matters. I have been lucky enough to work for a company that values company culture and works really hard to make the work environment fun. Our industry can be high stress and very demanding, but that doesn’t mean the office environment has to reflect these qualities. The culture coupled with awesome people makes Imagine a great place to work.

 2.      Every meeting is a sales meeting. This is a lesson I learned early on in my career and is something I think of often. Whether you have a formal meeting or are simply dropping something off, every moment with a client is an opportunity to remind them why they hired you in the first place.

 3.      Excitement is contagious. When I first started my job, every new experience was exciting. Now, after a decade, the newness has worn off, but I still find the projects I get to work on exciting. This energy often rubs off on clients, and they are reminded why they chose the job they do in the first place. It also makes each day more fun for me!

 4.      Become wiser, not jaded. This falls in line with getting excited about work every day. It’s easy to let things jade your view of the world over time, but instead, I suggest using each experience to gain wisdom instead.

 5.      Do what you say you’re going to do. This is a given, but you would be surprised how many people don’t follow through with what they say they will do. If you can simply fulfill your word, you are more than half way there.

 6.      Laugh. This is just good advice.

 7.      Trust your gut. Having questions is healthy, but knowing when to follow your intuition is important. And with time, others will rely on your gut reaction, too.

 8.      Take responsibility for actions. We all make mistakes; that’s a fact. But being able to admit you screwed up will actually make people trust you more.

9.      Prove that you are a team player. Co-workers are more willing to go the extra mile for you if they know you will do the same.

10.  Never compromise your morals. It is possible to do great work without going against your personal beliefs. Surround yourself with people you respect and, chances are, you won’t be pressured to cross your own moral line.

Megan Neri serves as Director of Client Relations at Imagine Communications. Contact Megan at mneri@weareimagine.com.

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