I Wouldn’t Change A Thing

There are experiences that we all go through that we may deem as "bad." I propose that these experiences aren't "bad." They serve to mold and strengthen our character (if we allow them). If we didn't go through those "tough situations," we wouldn't be the individuals we are today.

Early in my career, I acquired a position that I thought I could handle. Once acquired, I soon found out that I was ill prepared and ultimately set up for failure. I just graduated from college and knew I couldn't continue working for my alma mater as a math tutor. Feeling the ever increasing burden of financial responsibility and need for health insurance, I jumped at this seemingly awesome opportunity.

I was severely under compensated for the amount of time and effort I was required to provide. As a graduate of Temple University, with a B.S. in Chemistry, I should have negotiated for a higher pay rate. Yet, at that stage in my life, I had no clue that I possessed great value and I didn't have to settle for just any offer. That learning has contributed to my philosophy of not focusing solely on a "dollar per hour" compensation. Rather, I strive to be paid for the immense value that I know I bring to the hour. There's a big difference.

While in this "opportunity," I struggled with managing my time. I wanted to do my very best. However, I didn't get the proper support, or training from the administration. This taught me that I need to "interview" future employers. I need to know about their training programs (or if any exist) and what processes are in place to support their team members that will set them up for success. As a young 20 something professional, I knew nothing about being selective and inquisitive when looking for a career. Being hired is a two-way street, "what value can I add to your company and what value can your company add to me?"

As the pressure of wanting desperately to succeed continued to build, I felt the heaviness daily. I was putting in 12-hour days, working through lunch, and still not catching up. I learned that I had to let go of those things that were outside of my control and "only" focus on things I could change. I do this currently. It's one of the ways that I properly handle stress.

In closing, if I didn't go through that "bad" experience, I wouldn't know: how to negotiate salary based on the value I know I can add; that I have the right to question if an employer is a good fit for me and not only am I a good fit for the employer; and how to properly handle stress by letting go of things I can't control and focusing on things I can.

I invite you to think of possible "bad" experiences from your life and how going through them has caused you to be the person you are today. "Good" or "bad" experiences are categorize by how we perceive them.

"Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious." - Napolean Hill, author of Think & Grow Rich

About the author...

Sam, "The Youth Dream Builder," is passionate about educating our youth. He enjoys helping young people realize they are the leaders of today, not tomorrow. He's currently building an organization that teaches young people how to properly represent themselves online & use social media to network into and through college & careers.

Contact at Sam.P.Lark.Jr@gmail.com
Follow on Twitter @SamPLarkJr

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