From the Bettys to You
Life Lessons for Grads
What We Know Now… We Wish We Knew Then!
The month of June signifies the dawn of “real life” for 2008’s class of graduating women, and The Bettys have put our heads together to come up with a list of honest, real-life advice and tips for our younger counterparts. It’s everything we know now that we wish we knew then… from the importance of a reputation, to the importance of keeping oneself in fabulous shoes!
Without further ado… our gift to the graduating women of 2008! (Pay Attention! We might not have when we were your age – but trust us – you don’t want to be looking back one day, saying, “if only I knew…” Here we give you ALL THE SECRETS NOW!)
From our Advisory Board member and Betty extraordinaire, Myrna Blyth:
Work at a place where you can succeed. Make sure it is an environment where people will appreciate your talents and your style.
Your private life is important. Make time for friends and family. They are with you throughout your life. Your co-workers are not.
If you have a job you love, you may feel you would work for less. But in the long run it is really important to be paid what you are worth. Ask for it and make sure you get it.
From our managing editor, April Daniels Hussar:
The universe is plentiful – or: There’s a seat for every ass. Don’t let the accomplishments of others daunt you – there’s more than enough success and love in the world for everyone. No one’s going to take your piece of the universal pie.
Never tell yourself “NO.” That’s not meant to be some hedonistic mantra – it’s about not setting limits on yourself in anticipation of someone else doing it down the road. Think you might not be qualified enough to apply for a particular job? Let the company make the decision, after you’ve given your all in the application process.
Sexy undies and great shoes make you feel good. Buy them – whether at Saks or Marshalls – and wear them.
Starting an exercise regime only gets harder as you get older. Bite the bullet and just do it. Your 40-year-old self will thank you for it.
From Julie Ryan Evans, our editor-at-large:
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
It’s OK not to have a plan.
Moisturize, sunscreen, moisturize, sunscreen-what you do now WILL matter later!
Good grammar and good manners go a long way.
Your reputation is everything; you won’t believe how small the world really is.
Do not ever settle when it comes to love.
From Nicole Christie, lifestyle editor:
So many people graduate with the intent of landing a “big money” job. I particularly saw this during the dot-com era, when people were just clamoring to start an Internet company so they could get rich. What people forget is that great success comes to you when you follow a passion – tech billionaires like Gates, Jobs, and the Google guys BELIEVED in what they were doing. It was their calling, their soul, their true purpose in life. If you can figure out what that is for yourself, you’ve fought half the battle. The rest is round-the-clock elbow grease – and that’s hard to put in if you don’t like what you’re doing.
People will tell you it’s all about “who you know.” This is true to a degree – knowing the right people can help you get your foot in the door. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll go nowhere. So while it’s who you know that gets you there, it’s what you know that keeps you there – and moves you ahead.
Your pedigree and intelligence mean nothing if you don’t have ambition. There are a lot of dumb people in high places because they know how to work hard, and a lot of brilliant people who have gone nowhere because they have no work ethic. No one is going to scoop you off the street and give you a cushion – you have to prove yourself (over and over and over again).
You can toil away at a high-paying job with the intention of making big $$ and then quitting or retiring early so you can “really do you what you love.” Or you can do what you love now, even though it may not pay much, with the understanding that – if you are truly gifted – your belief in yourself and your perseverance will be rewarded, although perhaps not RIGHT NOW. All we have is this day – if your life ended tomorrow, would you be happy with how you’d spent it?
From Mary Beth Sammons, lifestyle editor:
Be playful; be powerful and be beautiful – all at once.
You ALWAYS have choices – so forget about conformity and convention. The way to go is the way your heart tells you.
Learn to swim with the sharks.
Do triathlons- and swim, bike and run like crazy – the strength and confidence you gain on the playing field will carry over everywhere.
Take care of yourself – pamper yourself, and make TIME for yourself.
Never, ever, ever give up your dreams.
RUN from men, women, others who suck your energy and try to steal your soul. Run, run, run.
From our financial expert Stacy Francis:
Life gets better as you get older. If you don’t like your current situation, don’t worry it will change – whether you like it or not.
The first love of your life should be you – not a man.
Successful people make lots of mistakes too- you just don’t know about them. Making mistakes can be better than doing nothing.
Money can’t buy happiness but it sure can go a long way toward helping.
Getting a loan can be tough. A bank will lend you money but only if you prove that you don’t need it. Rely on yourself first not VISA, MasterCard or American Express.
From Debbie of What Would Debbie Do (aka Deborah Houston):
Every decade, your thoughts and values change. What’s important when you’re 20, most often has no relevance when you hit 40. Therefore, be careful how vehemently you speak. You might not recognize yourself down the road.
Don’t allow a man to get in the way of your dreams. Love may be hard to find. But becoming who you want to be is priceless.
Being passionate about something is the key to success. So do what you love. And love what you do.
Learn to be a good listener. Espousing your thoughts at every turn never gives you the opportunity to enrich your thinking.
Idealism is great in your 20s–it makes you feel invincible. Realism, however, can be sobering. Try and keep a healthy dose of both.
From Manic Mommy (aka StephanieElliot):
Be assertive, yet it’s OK to let a man hold open the door.
Heels are nice, but man, they can hurt your feet. And sometimes they’re very expensive while also hurting your feet.
It’s OK to cry when you feel like crying.
From Coach Me if You Can’s Michelle Woodward:
Be a friend to other women. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.
Your credit rating is more important than your GPA.
Stay out of office gossip. It never ends well. Honest.
Be nice to everyone you work with, whether they’re junior to you or senior. You never know — someday someone you dissed may be in the position to decide if you get a job. And you may really need a job someday.
He’ll say it but not mean it. Honey, they never leave their wives, and if they do, would you really want ’em?