Advice for Everyone (Especially Recent Graduates)
This is truly a wonderful time because our country is returning to normal, finally. After more than a year of uncertainty, social distancing and confinement to our homes, it’s nice to go out and see streets filled with people again.
As of now, the majority of our employees are still working remotely. In this virtual environment it can be challenging to connect with peers, colleagues and partners, but it’s not impossible. Perhaps Zoom fatigue has caused us to be less active this year hosting and joining online activities than we were last year, but it’s important we push onward and forward.
Our team is in the midst of organizing the 9th Freedom Mortgage Leadership Conference. I reached out to a number of my contacts – folks I haven’t spoken with for months – to ask them to speak at this event. The exercise reminded me of several tips which I think will benefit many – especially recent graduates like our newest class of First Flyers starting their careers in mortgage lending.
1. Be proactive in setting up a quick video conference or offer to meet outdoors for a coffee/tea break. Keep in touch once you’ve established a rapport and most importantly, take a break to network. It is often overlooked that a quick chat can sometimes resolve a matter in minutes instead of hours or days of email exchanges.
While it may seem awkward to reach out to someone you don’t know, operating outside of your comfort zone builds character and can lead to new friendships. (Check out my previous post on embracing change.)
2. Have high expectations of yourself and hold yourself accountable, but don’t take any future result for granted. All you can do is control your mind and attitude, do your best to stay positive, and moderate how you respond. Remember, the road to your destination will seldom be a straight line.
3. Be resilient to failure. No one likes to fail, but it’s inevitable. If you don’t fail, you won’t succeed. Before starting Freedom Mortgage, I had my share of failures. If these failures had never occurred, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.
4. Smell the roses. Regardless of the stage of your career, it’s important to make time for the things that are important to you. While my company was starting up, I had young kids. No matter how busy I was, I made time to attend their little league games. These interactions accumulated and formed fundamental happy memories of their childhood. These moments and memories are so important to the development of our children.
5. Give back whenever you can. Whether it’s volunteering, mentoring, joining a board, or making a monetary donation – do what you can to enrich the lives of others.
Speaking of which, I’m so proud of our team for launching our 9th annual Rucksacks to Backpacks campaign, where we provide backpacks and school supplies to the children of active-duty military, National Guard and Reservists. This year we are hosting a virtual fundraiser. I hope you’ll consider joining Team Freedom and donating, no matter how small. All money raised will enable children in grades K-8 to pick the school supplies they need at distribution events at nine USO (United Service Organizations) locations across the country. Click here for more information about our fundraiser.
Here’s the link to make a donation: http://bidpal.net/fmrucksackstobackpacks2021.
Stanley C. Middleman
Freedom Mortgage Corporation