W. P. Carey Alumni Share Advice on Starting in Your New Career

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: What is the best piece of advice you would offer to W. P. Carey graduates as they prepare to start their new careers?

Here are 6 tips they shared:

  • Cultivate an Adaptive Mindset
  • Tap Into Your Deepest Wisdom
  • Build Genuine Relationships
  • Try New Things & Have Fun
  • Never Forget Your Superhero Stance
  • Take Action

Cultivate an Adaptive Mindset

In a world that is continuously changing, with technology replacing jobs and new jobs being created, you need to be able to adapt your skills to keep up with the ever-changing workplace. The key is to cultivate an adaptive mindset, one that responds well to unexpected change and embraces challenges as opportunities to improve and innovate. One way to develop this skill is to push yourself to be an early adopter of change. Whether it’s a new technology or taking on new responsibilities at work, be proactive, don’t be afraid to ask questions and embrace the challenge with an open mind. Employers need workers who can adapt to industry shifts and keep the company current. Being committed to continuously improving and developing your skills is a great way to be seen as someone who is capable of meeting the demands of the future. 

Erika Amoako-Agyei, BS Marketing ‘94, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (Seed), Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Tap Into Your Deepest Wisdom

A piece of advice would be to pause, breathe, and tune into what genuinely feels like alignment for yourself and your life. People can know if something is in alignment with themselves if they are doing something that deeply brings them joy and makes them feel a sense of peace, subtle or intense. As we can see in our current world, being in business for any other reason than this can lead to a lot of unwanted outcomes for the collective, so I would advise anyone in this field to evaluate why they want what they want and especially what they’re trying to get out of it. Stopping and thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing is so important, especially for the change-makers and innovators of the world, and from my experience, W. P. Carey is chock-full of those.

Capri Curtis, BS Economics ‘21, Conscious Awareness Coach

Build Genuine Relationships

Build genuine relationships! Every single opportunity I’ve had to move my career forward has come from a relationship I built and nourished. This is not traditional networking: ‘what can I do for you & what can you do for me?’ rather spending time truly listening and getting to know people you like and admire. Do your research, seek out interesting people, and ask for time. Then nurture and stay connected. I promise, it pays off big time.

Sidnee Peck, MBA ‘09, CSU Ventures

Try New Things & Have Fun

As you embark on this next chapter, remember to continue exploring what you enjoy doing. Your career path will be a journey and that is the exciting part! Just as you would take classes that peaked your interests, continue to do this in your career. Take on projects or explore various areas of business even if they do not directly relate to what you studied. You are a student of life here to have fun along the way! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to find what truly lights you up. 

Jacklyn Quinn, BS Marketing ‘17, AMN Healthcare

Never Forget Your Superhero Stance

As a new graduate, you will likely have times in your early career when you feel self-doubt, fear or a lack of confidence. Something I wish my younger, shy, introverted self knew was how much I would grow when I leaned into the fear and stepped outside of my comfort zone. In fact, I have found that the more I put myself out there, the more confidence I develop and the less fear I feel. 

Something else I wish I knew earlier in my career was this tip to overcome any feeling of inadequacy. Stand in a Superhero stance, back straight, chest lifted high, and hands on hips for two minutes before an important meeting, presentation, or job interview. You may be surprised to learn that this is a research-backed practice, replicated by social scientists in at least nine different published studies. Power-posing can immediately and measurably increase your performance, confidence, authenticity, happiness, optimism, and executive functioning. 

Jennifer Drago, BS ‘89 & MBA ‘93, Peak to Profit, LLC

Take Action

We live in a world where there are sometimes unlimited choices and options. Our challenge in business, and in life, is not to understand all the choices that present themselves, but to narrow the known choices to one that you can take tangible action against. Deciding and acting (even if wrong) will always win over constantly analyzing trying to find the “perfect” choice. Understand your options, but do not delay in taking action on one of those choices and moving forward.

Krag Klages, MBA ‘14, Horizon Media

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center