Success in the Workplace

Author: Lexi Mitchell | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2023-24

Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunity. Success. 

The students were intrigued to hear from Dr. John Cole, a very successful businessman, because in this forum, he highlighted several ways to become successful in the workplace. 

The first piece of advice he imparted upon the students was simple, but it makes an incredible difference in the process of job hunting. He suggested that we research our career and our potential place of employment before we go for it. This research can start as simple as a Google search, but he recommended that we aim for more depth from reputable sources. 

The reason that we should study our career paths is to make sure that it is right for us, because oftentimes, we go for roles solely for the money we can earn and not because we would be good at the job itself.

Look at the Mindset

Another important factor to consider is an organization’s mindset. But how do we learn what it is? The answer can be discovered by looking at what they are involved in. Look for common agreements in ourselves and in them. 

Another smart idea is to observe the competing businesses to see how your target company is positioned in the market. For higher paying jobs, they’re spending quite a bit of money on you when they pay you. Because of this, they undoubtedly make sure to research you by doing extensive and pricey background checks. This makes it necessary to keep your record clean and establish credibility, both online and in previous workplaces. Apprenticeships are great ways to gain industry credibility. They can be free or paid, and you can learn on the job from experts in the field. They often offer knowledge that you can’t gain anywhere else. 

First Impressions

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure to have a professional critique your resume to make sure there’s nothing you need to fix, or even worse, something detrimental. Additionally, sometimes the problems present in resumes is not what is presented, it is how it’s presented. This makes it critical to write resumes carefully and intentionally, so that you start off on the right foot with your future employer. 

Also, make sure to get at least three letters of recommendation, and make sure the people you ask are credible. Ensure that they address the letter “to whom it may concern” rather than a specific name, so that you can reuse the letter as many times as necessary.

Another often overlooked method of establishing a first impression are our records. Our credit rating,  criminal history, driving record, insurance records, and a plethora of other things, can be used to establish a first impression. They can be used to determine our level of responsibility, so by staying vigilant now we can do our future self a favor. 

You remember me, I remember you.

It is critical to learn to put yourself out there. By going to job fairs and other places where professionals can be found, you can easily develop associations with very important people. Show them a human side of you, so that if you apply for a job from them at some point, they can  see past the pen on paper information and look at the real you instead.

Even if we are able to do the job in theory, if it is not right for us as individuals, the lack of enthusiasm will be noticeable. Unfortunately, this is all too common. To stand out, we should try to tell a story. Through our personal story, the company will be able to recognize our unique abilities, and select us for roles compared to people who have no outstanding qualities.  Use the mindset “What can I do for this company?” instead of “What can they do for me?”. We must show some differentiation from others through our storytelling. 

Power of Prayer

Finally, Dr. Cole reminded the students to make sure to pray before doing something, but also know to do their part too. It is amazing the difference that prayer can make. It is also important to let people know what your problems are so that they can pray for you too. And remember that the answer to a prayer can be ‘no’. So don’t feel bad about rejection from a job, because this could very likely be the best course of action for us. Ask and pray, “If this job goes against God’s will, please close that door.” By remaining humble, relying on God, and doing our absolute best in what we do, success is something all of us have the potential to achieve.

Lexi Mitchell is a first-year student in the Living Education-Charlotte Program. She is from Long Island, New York. At home, she worked as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. Currently, she assists in the Living Education department as a social media manager and as a producer of written content. She enjoys reading, cooking, exercising, and spending time with family.