Dear Class Of 2018

Wear Sunscreen. Really. Wear sunscreen.

The hit monologue song when I graduated from High School in 1999 (gasp, I just realized I've lived half of my life in San Diego) was "Class of '99; Wear Sunscreen". I think I remember every word. 

I suppose much of that retrospective advice given to the "next generation" still applies today.

If the 18-year-olds, and 21-22-year-olds, had a dollar for everytime someone asked them "so, what you going TO DO now?" they could put a sizeable payment on any tuition loan, or save for their future. However, my 22-year-old self would probably buy jeans, running shoes, or a bridesmaid dress.

If I had a dollar for every time someone wants to get coffee to talk about work, or what I do, I'd be able to fund my future child's education. It's almost an informal meeting and I appreciate when the coffee-date invitee specifies "why" we should get coffee. Sometimes, I oblige, and the soon to be 2003 collegiate graduate from USD, my Alma mater, insta-messaged me often, has taken my early morning spin class, is a runner, but mostly she is persistent and kind, and well, I've been there, 22 (I was 21 at graduation, always a little behind) and who doesn't love to share advice with a driven young lady during this milestone in her life? I had lots of people who took time to help me, or offer insight, so maybe paying it forward is a good investment. She is the future.

 This was in 2015, still just over here getting event with all the helpers! 

This was in 2015, still just over here getting event with all the helpers! 

I actually didn't give her any advice on how I got "into my" job I love. I invited her to class, on bikes that go nowhere, and instead asked a room of all ages, professionals and experiences, from their mid-twenties hustlers to the CEO, Presidents of anything publicly traded,

"what would you tell this 22-year-old soon-to-be graduate?  

As each individual answered, I repeated it out loud, for her to hear. Answers included:

  • Do what you love
  • Love what you do
  • Travel
  • Have fun
  • Don't' get that tattoo (we laughed)
  • Take risks
  • Save some of everything you make 
  • Believe in yourself

I asked her advice to her 22-year-old self (and for them) 

  • It all works out in the end

Meanwhile, we pedaled along, actually working but they chose the physcial drill for 1 minute. fun, right? So much better than I would have done just dictating drills on my own. That's the idea, the "together" part.

When everyone had shared their advice for the young woman who was collecting it all and taking mental notes, my next question for everyone was, 

Does the advice you gave, still apply today?

Yes, every. single. time.

Their advice had very little to do with our future grad and everything to do with their past expereince. What we have all learned was gathered by going through it, things a diploma (enter any random major), can't teach (yet). 

After class we set aside a few minutes to chat as she requested, but instead of telling her my story of ups, down, different industries, good managers, leaders I vowed not to be like, opportunities and how I ended up consulting . . .

I asked her things about her life. 

What is most important to her, right now, at 22?

Most graduates need a j-o-b. What is most important to her a job: Location, role, title, people you work with, growth, salary, brand recognition, company purpose, the list goes on.... It's a good way to weed out things that are not up her alley, instead of creating a "resume" to fit the mold, to the get the job. Any job. There is more to it than a salary for some people.  Ask those who thrive a meaningful non-profits. Or a teacher.  So it doesn't matter if the job your parents think you should have, or if you majored in it, it matters if you are going to want to go do it every day, and why. 

Ask. People like to help, to be the reason you succeed. Ed (Sheran) asked B ( first names basis right?) Beyonce for a duet. She may have said no, but she said yes, and wallah, a hit song. Glad he asked. Even before that he had to think it was even it's a possibility. 

Hindsight is 20/20 - so cliche, but true. All those things that happened us along the way, really happen for us -- which makes going through it a lot easier. Looking back, ask yourselves what you have learned from what seemed like "failures" at the time. I'm so thankful for some of my biggest failures - phew. Look what I learned.

 I spoke at a healthy minds breakfast, so just like college-grad spin class, I also asked them their health advise to millennials - guess what, the same advice still applies to themselves and the future workfoce - bridging the generation divide.

I spoke at a healthy minds breakfast, so just like college-grad spin class, I also asked them their health advise to millennials - guess what, the same advice still applies to themselves and the future workfoce - bridging the generation divide.

So that thing that scares you, that excites you ...do that. I have one, you could say I worked on in 10 years and over the last couple months am doing something new with it. I prefer to be behind the scenes, helping people, help people. I'll explain. 

My husband jokes that if not for insta(gram)-stories he'd not know what I did in my "work" day. I'll take that as no two days are never the same. Truth I suppose, from client to client, helping with wellness programs, to contributing at wellness meetings, to meeting awesome vendors and experts to introduce to companies, I meet some pretty neat people. Sometimes I speak, usually from experience .  .  . often on goals as I feel qualified to help in this realm. I have Corporate wellness goals of my own - to make an impact. Lauren and Kate, I mentioned writing this in 2016 to you the other day:

 I wrote a loft uncomfortably big goal on my card in 2016, because it results in companies with healthy, happy, employees. 

I wrote a loft uncomfortably big goal on my card in 2016, because it results in companies with healthy, happy, employees. 

 

So, better use of time, to share knowledge of apps, discounts, events, resources, and what works would be to invite health-minded companies to a workshop to come and learn! Wa-lah! A wellness workshop for HR and culture professionals, to come and soak up the most-up-to-date wellness related resources I've been and go back to their organization and make it a place people thrive, love to be, and feel valued. I am simply teaching the attendees to go take ownership for and credit for the success of their wellness programs. Instead of a coffee date, those that are serious about knowing one another may attend, and I get to share some really amazing resources.  RSVP for your spot / Organization HERE

I'm excited to be co-hosting and facilitating an upcoming experiential and educational 1/2 day for the person at local organizations who is responsible for wellness programming (discounts, wearable devices, challenges, ergo friendly offices, the best apps and podcasts).  This day will inspire those who attend, fill their toolbox, and to be the ripple in their office I teamed up with a smaller enthusiastic broker, SSA, who also believes that, while we have to have health insurance, wellness is the preventative element that companies who value their teams, provide.

It's a Friday, April 27th, all afternoon, lunch, ocean view, and a workshop class Trilogy Sanctuary, one of my local favorites. I have some surprises lined up that attendees will want to bring into their own offices, so instead of telling you, try a massage, hear a leadership coach. It's HEREIf you are the person for your office or have that person who would love to inspire your staff, I like no more than 25 people, so you can all meet one another. I can only be in so many offices at one time, but the best leaders create other ones, so I can't wait to share resources, perks, and what's hot in wellness with passionate companies. Attendees are from companies that value having resources for their staff to live well. My running buddies are seriously tired of hearing about the most up to date apps, national health holidays, and San Diego events, so instead I'll get to share with HR and culture leaders - for their offices. If you would like to share this with person in your office - you all win. They'll have a great time too.

 For Companies in San Diego who want to be health and happy

For Companies in San Diego who want to be health and happy

Come to think of it, I suppose all those 22-year-olds deciding "what to do", which much rather work for a place where they feel valued (or there is green juice on tap) with a wellness program, and I bet they're more apt to stay, and be happy while they are there.  Same goes for the people already there. My goal personally if I work with your company, it's visible, and your staff goes home and says "guess what my company is doing for me".  They will come back, and they will be more productive and fulfilled, because of the organization they give so much time.

I don't ever promote work-life balance. I think it's more of

"work-life integration".

There is no "work" life and then a separate "home" life.

There is this one life. Let them "work" together.

If you are able to stand at work, wear a Fitbit, or get personal coaching - I bet it helps you at home. Integration. I bet you speak favorably. I bet your spouse will like your work better for caring about you. Will your health premiums go down? Well that's icing on the gluten-free cake.

Start small . . . 

Something your office buddies can do next week for $0: National Walking Day is 4/4. Organize a walk, a photo contest, a raffle for inviting a coworking. Easy, fun, and a wonderful 30-minute break. I'm a big fan of the most creative walking team name, or photo taken while walking 

red heart shoes.jpg

If you motivate others to walk next Wednesday,  or attend the wellness mastermind/workshop enabling your company to have the tools it will love, or if you're 22, about to graduate from college and make your mark in the world ...

Wear sunscreen. wink. 

In health, 

SMK