I am forever grateful to have the job I have right now. Since I get paid beans (really, I get paid so little considering how fracking much my college education cost), I try to take the opportunities to listen to people who are older, wiser, and in higher positions than myself speak about their experiences, and just whatever they have to say.
"Coffee with colleagues," a program my department puts on, has been a great way for me to hear professionals speak about all types of stuff, and I basically sit there like a sponge and try to soak everything up. This time the topic was "trends in higher education" and even though I don't want to spend my career here (I might, you never know) the speaker gave a lot of good information. It's also interesting to see how people got to where they are. One of the things I got out of that conversation was that adaptability is one of the most important skills to have in today's job market, whether you're in higher education or otherwise. It's also important to be able to see connections, trends, and be able to bridge the gaps between industries. Find problems and create solutions. Now, I know that everyone says that. But the solutions have to be efficient and effective, not just one or the other. Also, since it's difficult to get the higher ups to budge sometimes and try new ideas, you have to make them an offer they can't refuse. Tell them how it's going to benefit them. Work in sustainability, quick and long-term results, and make it relate to the overall message/goal of the organization. There was more information, and it's sitting at the back of my mind, but I don't have time to put it into coherent sentences right now. Maybe in another post, when I have time.
Things I was left thinking: I need to be better at professional networking, I need a messenger bag that looks "adult," I need to find a way to be an innovator in my current position, I need to branch out (through volunteer opportunities probably) to gain more skills and be more marketable, I need to decide what to get my second (technically third, I'm already a history major this time) undergrad degree in, I need to get over my fear and anxiety about graduate school.