I’m so excited to speak with a couple thousand graduating students entering the retail world today!

I’m in New York doing a keynote for the NRF (National Retail Federation), and love speaking with young people, both encouraging and learning from those in a different life stage.

Today, we’ll talk about how I said, ‘yes’ to a variety of amazing job opportunities which led me to where I am today. They weren’t always headed upward vertically, but each new opportunity I took on allowed me to Learn, Develop, and Contribute.

Learn – not only what industry and role you love, but define the formula that allows you to thrive! Among these elements, what is most important to you and what makes up the context for your success: work culture, boss, decision rights, benefits, etc.

Develop – build your skill set, learn new things. Not just functional skills but also how to manage people, collaborate in new ways, get around a foreign city, build new relationships.

Contribute – I live by a simple equation: Contribute/Consume > 1. Have I left things better than I found them? Have I contributed more than I’ve consumed?

I’ll share about my #professionalhalftime and how this break has allowed me to pause and define how I want to enter the second half of my career with even more intentionality (for more on this, check out my LinkedIn posts with the same hashtag). I’ll also talk about the concept of #sociallegacy, and while I’m entering my second half, the opportunity these students have to define their social legacy as they begin their first.

What’s your social legacy? And have you ever taken a professional halftime? If so, I’d love to hear about it!