Best Advice I’ve Ever Received
Back in 2007 I was working for BJC HealthCare at its newest facility, Progress West HealthCare. I’d been hired on the summer before to help process resumés and schedule interviews. From there, as I proved I could handle the work, my responsibilities increased quickly and I found myself feeling part of a wonderful team.
I made many friends who had an impact on me in numerous ways. Being early on in my career though, I also benefited from being moldable, which kickstarted the growth into the person I am today.
Of the people I came to know well, the hospital’s president was one of them. Our working relationship was abrasive yet playful. I had a hard time believing I felt so connected to the guy in charge of running the place.
One day while we were shooting the breeze in his office, he and I chatted a bit about what my future might look like. At the time, I was contemplating graduate school... which I never ended up applying for. With an MBA on my mind, he shared his thoughts on which schools he thought were worth my money. After that, we somehow arrived at a piece of advice he had been given early in his career, which he decided to pass along.
To paraphrase, [reading as much as you can about topics that are or might be related to your work will set you apart from everyone else. There will come a time when you will be in a meeting, a question will be raised, and you will have insight based on what you’ve read and learned.]
While my innate curiosity may have taken me down the path he recommended that day, I have never forgotten his words and cannot underscore how vital they have been. As I approach 34 and my 12th year in the workforce, the number of times I have been able to contribute something to a discussion based on outside reading is countless.
Whatever you do, challenge your own intellect as often as you can so you can be wrong and evolve.
Go Forth Boldly