This week, I had the opportunity to interview Diane Darling, Author of The Networking Survival Guide and Networking For Career Success. She is the founder and CEO of Effective Networking, Inc. She founded the company on the premise that everyone can learn to network, they just need to find their own style. She is also the founder of Water Cooler Football.
I loved Diana Darling’s answer to my favorite question, so I wanted to share it with you today.
Anna: What do you wish you would have known as a young professional woman just starting out in her career?
Diane: There are so many things that I wish I would have known.
I wish I would have double minored in business and psychology and majored in something that I enjoyed because you have to understand the way people work and the way money flows. So if you already graduated in something other than business or psychology, do some self-study in those areas because you have got to know how money flows. And no matter what, you have got to know how people work.
I wish I would have known the importance of public speaking. It is very important to be a good public speaker, you need to know how to ask questions and how to speak up in meetings.
Even though it sounds old-fashioned, but I would write lots of thank you notes. This will completely separate you from everyone else, especially now with email.
I knew how to have fun when I was younger but the older you get, the more luxurious having fun feels. I think it is really important that you make peace with money because life is expensive. When money is tight, you give up having fun because you are conscious of what you spend. If I would do anything differently, I would pay more attention to earning money, not because I want money, but I want freedom and choices.
This is tough but you always want to try to save up six months of “walk away money.” This is for if you are ever in a situation where you are working for a company that is not ethical, you can walk away but still feed yourself. I think it is really important to have a roof over your head and be able to cover your bills for 6 months. You want to have that independence and you never want to be strapped to a company that is asking you to do anything unethical.