Wide Eyed Excitement is what I saw looking back at me as I presented at new student orientation. Meeting new students was equally as thrilling as watching the matured, accomplished versions cross the stage at graduation. I had about 5 minutes to explain what my department offered. I didn't focus on that, that would eventually come. I wanted new students and, today, everyone to learn a valuable life lesson that can be used every day;
Nice, like nasty, is memorable. Every interaction is an opportunity to leave an impression. That impression, whether bad or good, will follow you. I warn our new students to not be the person that everyone on campus knows because they are mean. Why? You have the opportunity to be the person we want to hire as a student worker or the person we want to recommend when a great internship comes across our desk. You might be the person who a classmate calls when a great job opens up at his firm. Leave a positive impression on those you encounter. Yes, you need to hone your talent and be a hard worker but even that can be overshadowed by a bad attitude.
Are you wondering why I've "penned" this? Truth is, I'm scared that nice is losing its value. As an industry professional, new or mature, you have the...
POWER TO BE NICE
Yes, the power! It's practically a super power these days and on days when you really just aren't feeling it - you have to channel it from somewhere beyond yourself because the benefits are endless. In the example of new students, the benefits are for themselves. We're just more likely to recommend a "good guy".
As a manager being nice, but fair, can help to enrich the relationship you have with your team; ultimately increasing productivity.
As a colleague being nice may help you gather volunteers if you need some for a big project, or maybe they'll even lead you to your next job.
TRIED AND TRUE
My first job out of undergrad was selling cellphones. This was a great experience that taught me salesmanship and the value of your customer. People often say, "Oh that must have been fun."
To which I say, "It had its moments but how often do you go into the cellphone store? Only when something is broken, right? Exactly."
The long and short of it is, I showed up for an interview once and the lovely HR person asked me, "Do you remember me?"
"No, I'm sorry. I don't"
"You sold me my cellphone. I'm completely technologically challenged and you were so patient with me."
She remembered how nice I was to her. I landed that job and I worked for the same company for over 12 years.
Go forth and draw strength from The Power of Nice.