My Advice to Students: A Little Goes a Long Way
I am constantly in awe of how much I’ve learned, and continue to, since I joined the PKM audit department just a year and a half ago. I’ve gained first-hand experience of the technical aspects of auditing, how to best serve my clients and about the public accounting world in general. That being said, however, some of the most important things I’ve learned are ones that I picked up long before I started my career. I would contribute many of my successes thus far to the education I received at Georgia Southern (Hail Southern!) and to PKM’s culture that promotes learning and growth at all levels. I’m convinced that a few simple things I learned early on in life—and that many of us are taught even when we are kids—have contributed largely to my growth and success as a professional. Best of all, they require zero skill or talent whatsoever! You heard that right—anyone can do them!
The following are a few simple tips that I would recommend for you to focus on developing as habits if you haven’t already done so. You may be surprised by the results!
- Be on time – Or even better, be early! It sounds simple, but so many people fail to realize how important being on time really is to other people’s perceptions of you. Being punctual shows others (whether it be a friend, coworker, or client) that you respect them and their time. More likely than not, you will earn their respect in return. It’s that easy!
- Have a positive attitude – Having and maintaining a positive attitude, even in times work or life is stressful, is crucial to being successful. It shows that you are able to control your own thoughts and emotions even when you can’t control the circumstances you’ve been put in. The ability to maintain a good attitude and making conscious efforts to lift the spirits of those around you are both habits required of good leaders and ultimately make others enjoy being around you.
- Put your best foot forward – Some people may think that this goes without saying, but this concept can be easily taken for granted or quickly forgotten. No matter how developed your skills are or what your strengths and weaknesses may be, putting your best foot forward is a sure way to win respect. And sometimes, that’s half the battle! If you’re able to show you have a strong work ethic and that you’re willing to put in the effort to be successful – you will be!
- Be coachable and eager to learn– Think back to the first time you ever played your favorite sport. Were you any good the first time you stepped on the field or court? If you were anything like me, probably not. Now think to the last time you played your favorite sport. I’m sure you see two different players in your mind – I know that I do! I love that we can look back at the two players in our memories and appreciate all the coaches (and even players) that positively impacted us and helped to develop an even better version of ourselves over the years. However, one important thing to remember is that your development as a player would not have been possible had you not been willing to be coached by those people you met along the way. Being coachable and genuinely eager to learn are both crucial to developing and ultimately being successful. Showing others that you have a genuine desire to learn—and showing enthusiasm along the way—will get you so much further than you realize. People want to teach and help those who want to be taught and helped!
So, as you can see, all of these habits are simple – and if you are able to truly commit to mastering them, will earn you respect in all aspects of your life. Follow these four basic steps and it will undoubtedly give you a cutting edge over anyone who isn’t able to appreciate the importance of the old adage “a little goes a long way.”