Preparing Yourself to Succeed in an Ever-Changing World

By: S. David Ross, Associate Director

I recently attended a conference with other Career Services professionals to discuss best practices and the latest trends. Many enlightening conversations were held throughout the day – but after one presentation, I kept thinking about an important question. How can students best prepare themselves to succeed throughout their careers? Knowledge and training can be very helpful – but what else is needed? Here are two recommendations:

– Develop a critical lens to enhance your judgment and decision-making skills. At some point, you will find yourself in situations in the workplace requiring your judgment and discretion. Having a critical lens which you can use to analyze a situation, consider your options carefully, make a well-reasoned decision and then proceed will equip you for these ambiguous situations where the “correct” decision is unclear.

– Become more observant and increase your awareness of worldwide events. Pay attention to what’s happening in the world beyond your immediate “bubble.” What can you learn about these developments beyond what is discussed or reported elsewhere? Think critically about current events you discover and how they may impact or pertain to your work – both now and in the future. Based on your own observations, do your best to anticipate future opportunities and problems before they happen.

These are just two examples of competencies you can utilize to be successful in the workplace both now and in the future. Regardless of the path you ultimately pursue, be sure to equip yourself with these and other competencies as you embark on the start of your career after Penn.

Author: David

David Ross is a Senior Associate Director of Career Services for Wharton undergraduates and occasional blogger for "Penn & Beyond."