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Graduation Time Lessons To Share

Categories: Professional Development

Have you ever given a graduation speech?

It’s always been a goal of mine.

This year, I received a call from the Dean of Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater – one of the largest colleges within Temple University – asking me to be their 2009 commencement speaker.

What an honor! What a responsibility!

So, on a daily basis since that call, I have been thinking/writing/talking out loud, putting my thoughts together.

Ultimately, on graduation day, May 14th, I want it to be inspirational, realistic and informative.

That said, I have come up with four learning points that I will share with graduates, and in my blog over the next few weeks.

My point for this week is this:

As difficult as the job market is, no one is a victim. It is critical to be honest with yourself and assess both your talent and your passion.

When the two are combined, work isn’t work. It is a gift.

How do you assess that?

Take a look at yourself when you are the happiest. What are you doing? The flip side is to look at what makes you miserable and drains you.

I was a speech communications major as an undergraduate. My parents worried about job opportunities in the field after I graduated (yes, even in the dark ages, there were job issues!) They encouraged me to switch into speech pathology and therapy. The fact that I had no passion, interest, or talent for this field, seemed secondary to getting a job.

I held my ground, and am so glad that I did.

Once I realized (at age 21) that my purpose was, and still is, to communicate and help others to be more effective, the rest was looking for opportunities where I could make that happen.

For me, career #1 was working in a college, teaching communication and presentation skills, so students would be better equipped no matter what they pursued.

All these years later, I still believe that to be happy, you need to figure out your purpose and your passion.

What is yours?

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