How A Podcast Helped With My Professional Development

Truthfully, until last summer, I had never been all that interested in them. For a long time, I thought they were something only older people enjoyed, and I had no idea they were becoming so popular amongst my generation. Fortunately, all that changed the day I stumbled across Myleik Teele’s podcast. The very first podcast I listened to of hers was the “Summer Refresh #2: Refresh Your Hustle” episode. Unaware, at the time, that she is the founder and Chief Experience Officer of curlBox, the first monthly subscription service for naturally curly hair, I was instantly hooked on the insightful tips that she shared about life, career development and relationships. Right off the bat I knew she was speaking from years of experience. While I definitely recommend giving her podcasts a listen, here are some of the few things I learned from some of my favorite podcasts by her.

Be the hardest working person in the room

Whether it is work, school, or an extracurricular activity, sometimes it is hard to muster up the motivation to succeed if you’re not confident in your abilities. Speaking from personal experience, at times I have felt like quitting or exerting less energy into a project or goal because I felt like I did not have the needed skills to succeed. If you have experienced attending a competitive school like I have as a student at Georgia Tech, you might know what it is like to feel insecure about your capabilities when you’re surrounded by such high achievers. So, what is the fix? You might not be able to magically become the smartest or the most skilled, but from my experience some ways to combat these feelings of insecurity is to make sure that you are always working hard to improve yourself, learning from those around you, and being the hardest working person in the room.

Networking is key to success 

During my freshman year of college, I had always heard the phrase “your network is your net worth”. Truthfully, it was not until I really started investing more time into my professional development that I truly understood the importance of the phrase. While I have come a long way since freshman year and have made great efforts to improve my network, to this day, I’m still working on establishing the network I would like to have. Admittedly, I still get discouraged, especially when it comes to applying for internships and jobs or I realize that I do not have as many professional connections. I have learned from Myliek’s podcast that a professional network is ever-growing and that it is something that I will be investing time into even when I am well established in my career.

Surround yourself with people who will push you.

Yes. Yes. I know what you’re thinking. “Not another article telling me to drop my friends.” The age-old conversations about friendship groups and surrounding yourself with the right group of people is necessary, especially when it comes to your career. While some may say that in order to progress you must drop all your old friends and partake on a journey of self-dependency, I have a different idea in mind. While it’s okay to have a group of friends who may like to party a lot or who simply aren’t that interested in starting to lay the foundation for their careers, it’s important to keep a healthy mix of people in your life.