Paying It Forward Outside Of Our Lanes, Networks, And Circles

On November 11th, the Connecticut Chapter of Prospanica, the association for Hispanic professionals, with the support of its corporate and educational partners in the community, will be holding Quest 2017 at Southern Connecticut State University.

The event, delivering “a one day Education Summit for Latino/Minority High School Students,” seeks to provide focused guidance and resources to students who are nearing high school graduation and beginning to consider the next step in their lives.

Through the volunteers, participants, speakers and presenters contributing to the summit, the students are inspired and encouraged to prepare themselves for a successful transition into their college years. The students learn about applying to college and financing their education, while also attending workshops covering themes on how they can develop themselves, their confidence and professionalism, and learn about the college experience from current college students.

I had presented at the summit a few years ago and was asked to return this year to contribute to the professional development theme of the program.

As I think about what I could contribute to the summit this time around, I want to convey to the participants the importance of taking advantage of the world around them and seizing every opportunity within their reach. It’s the same mindset with which I approach my clients and my coaching work – I work no magic, but just merely make them aware of what’s possible.

With that, I decided to run a workshop based on a presentation I had given to both college students and graduates. The presentation this time has been customized as my audience now will be focusing on college instead of the professional world, but the underlying foundation and call to action is the same:

Tackle Your Goals

Realize what you have, what you’re worth, and what you’re capable of. Harness those abilities and provide value in any environment in which you find yourself. Most importantly: Get started today.

Everyone has value; it’s just a matter of when someone realizes they have it and what they do with it that provides them with an advantage. I hope my presentation will prompt these students to think about how to begin harnessing their value a little sooner than if they had gone on with life without me having entered it and impressed that message upon them.

Along with my presentation on how they can tackle the four focuses – Resourcefulness, Confidence, Motivation, and Service to Others – on their path to their goals, I also want to provide them insight aside from my experience. It’s invaluable to be exposed to a wide spectrum of opinions and beliefs, and so I reached out into my circle of friends, colleagues, coworkers, and partners to ask them to provide the best pieces of advice they felt would benefit these high school students.

The response was honest, diverse, and impressive. The collection comes from so many industries, ages, and experiences. And the variety of these backgrounds doesn’t take away from the effectiveness the messages provide. Each piece of advice is transferable across a wide spectrum of possibilities, missions, interests, and goals. So, I give my deepest appreciation to those who contributed.

Paying it forward in our environment is great; providing advice for others, whom we may not or ever know, is even better. Whether or not the advice is provided to someone we’ve met, it’s important to pay it forward as much as possible – even through just pieces of advice. When we do that, we’re making an impression outside of our lane and network.

It’s important to step outside of your world to see what you can both learn from and teach outside of your circles.

So, please, think about how you have benefited from the advice from others. How do you pass forward your best pieces of advice?

Whatever you may call it, how do you step outside of your lane, circles, or network to pay it forward and share your best pieces of advice?

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