Yesterday, I celebrated a milestone birthday and took some time to reflect on my personal and professional journey over the past half century. From my early days in robotics and medical imaging during grad school to almost a decade in the telecom industry, and now approaching two decades in the energy sector while living in Ohio, Arizona, and Florida, I have had a diverse range of experiences. As I reflected, I realized there are a few things I have learned that I want to share with the next generation.
- Have great mentors and peers. Whether it’s your father and grandfather, professors in grad school or leaders in your jobs, having someone who can guide you and provide you with the freedom to grow is essential. These relationships are key to providing guidance, opening doors, and helping to shape your career path. For the next generation of workers, it’s important to seek out mentors who can provide the support and guidance needed to achieve success. By learning from those who have gone before you, you can avoid common pitfalls and make the most of your opportunities. So if you’re looking to take your career to the next level, start by finding a mentor who can help you get there.
- Enjoy the journey, even if it doesn’t always go according to plan. At times, changes in our lives can be difficult to accept and navigate. However, it’s important to remember that change can often lead to positive outcomes, even if it’s not immediately apparent. Whether it’s a new project, job, company, or career path, embracing the journey can help us grow and develop in ways we never thought possible. It’s important to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt to new situations. Although it may be uncomfortable or even painful at times, the challenges we face can help us become stronger and more resilient. By focusing on the opportunities that change can bring, rather than dwelling on the difficulties, we can learn to appreciate the journey and all that it has to offer. So, the next time you find yourself facing a new challenge or change in your life, remember to embrace the journey. With a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and grow, you may be surprised at what you can achieve.
- Network often and pay it forward. In every industry, networking is the key to unlocking new opportunities, discovering new businesses, and overcoming challenges. It is important to recognize that every industry is a small community, and by networking with others, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. However, networking is not just about what you can gain from others, it is also about what you can give. By paying it forward and helping others, you not only make a positive impact on their lives, but you also create a network of support that can benefit you in the future. Remember, the benefits of networking and paying it forward are not always immediate, but they will come back to you in some other way. So, make an effort to connect with others in your industry and always be willing to lend a helping hand.
- Find your passion(s). Discovering what truly excites and motivates you can lead to a more satisfying career. By pursuing your passions, you can turn your day-to-day tasks into meaningful contributions towards your goals. Keep in mind that your passions may change over time, and that’s okay. Embrace the journey and allow yourself to explore new industries, technologies, and roles.
- Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with both triumphs and challenges. As someone who has co-owned a company for 15 years, I have experienced both the empowering feeling of controlling our own destiny and the frustration of being at the mercy of market conditions and customer timelines. Despite the sacrifices and long hours, being able to pursue entrepreneurship around your passions is what makes the journey worthwhile. It is a beautiful struggle that requires determination, resilience, and a willingness to adapt to change.
Over the next several decades of my career, I want to continue to build and grow companies while helping to bring along the next generation of workers. In particular as a dad to 2 girls, I want to make sure that more women are empowered in their careers (particularly in the energy field). Cheers to the next half century!