On Oct. 18, students attended a Leadership Luncheon hosted by Samford Advancement Officer John Roland.
Throughout the luncheon, Roland gave students tips on how to navigate the workforce. As a Samford alumnus, Roland hoped that students might benefit from listening to his story as a former undergraduate.
Before Roland began his talk, he opened with one of his favorite Bible verses from Ephesians 3:20: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”
Roland’s speech centered around the fundamental building blocks for success in the workforce. These essential building blocks include maintaining a routine, applying skills acquired in college, enhancing interpersonal skills, cultivating and nurturing relationships and what Roland referred to as “pivotal moments.”
According to Roland, establishing a routine can lead to improved mental health and fewer impulsive decisions.
“Right now, students are at the stage where they are thinking about, ‘What do I want to do? What am I good at? What do I care about?’” Roland said.
Roland also advises students to make an effort to learn the names of people they work with to help build meaningful relationships, explaining that it is crucial in any work environment.
“The more you can understand the way people work, [the more it] shows you care and will open more doors,” Roland said.
The last focus of Roland’s speech was “pivotal moments,” which refer to one’s adaptability in less-than-ideal workforce situations. Students who are getting ready for the workforce need to be prepared for unexpected twists and turns. A good example of a pivotal moment could be when someone is suddenly let go from a job. When the situation arises, it is best to return to foundational building blocks.
“You need to have a foundation in order to pivot,” Roland said.
Utilizing these building blocks will foster what Roland refers to as “win-win opportunities,” which signify a shift from financial accomplishments, such as money and other benefits, to earning the respect of one’s colleagues.
Transitioning into the workforce is a slow process that requires commitment and diligence. Roland stressed that even at his age, he continues to learn more about himself through professional experiences. Roland explained that students will be better off if they use these building blocks in their personal and professional lives. This will help students learn how to overcome different obstacles and traverse unknown or unexpected situations.