Three faculty with extensive corporate experience recently brought their expertise out of the classroom and into several special workshops sponsored by Career Services for Gordon students. Adjunct professor John Truschel; Alice Tsang, associate professor of Economics and Business and director of Asian Initiatives at Gordon; and Casey Cooper, assistant professor of Economics and Business and managing director of the Center for Nonprofit Organization Studies and Philanthropy, discussed strategies for successful careers. The workshops were part of a series entitled, “From Gordon to the Workplace,” sponsored by Career Services to better prepare students to enter the job market.
Truschel emphasized that doing the basics well is often what captures the attention of supervisors and sets an employee apart from other employees. He said “the cumulative effect of consistency,” that is, doing good work consistently, would win the notice of others and promotions would likely follow. Reflecting Christian virtues, he said, should be evident in that good work, i.e., honesty, discretion, character, etc. Tsang observed that many court the favor of superiors but are not as courteous to peers and subordinates. A lack of respect and courtesy to others often hurts workers seeking advancement. She encouraged students to focus on adding value to the company through their work rather than simply focusing on salary increases but reminded students that compensation does not tell the whole story. Mentoring others in the workplace will makes employees more valuable to the employer. Cooper exhorted students to be successful in the workplace by “being adults” and taking responsibility for their actions and performance, in part by finding their strengths and using them as a guide to serve their employers well.
The three also discussed how to create new approaches for routine tasks, weigh the availability of employer funded educational benefits along with the sacrifice of time and energy that study will require, and increase career options by building savings while developing time-management skills. All agreed that building relationships with other professionals through networking is essential to advancing one’s career.