Last week my husband and I attended a funeral for a man who was one of the first people I met in our industry after moving to South Florida in 1992. Over the years, he became a friend and mentor as we served on various construction industry boards and committees together. I fondly remember him often calling me young lady. It dawned on me that he would not have been much older than me back when we had first met in 1992—right after he had gotten out of the service. The advice and wisdom from this mentor and friend along with other senior industry professionals helped me to navigate industry nuances and politics over the years which ultimately supported my success.

Having lost my own father less than two years ago, my fresh heart wound reopened with fond memories of my mentor and friend who in many ways was a workplace father. Although I am hopefully not headed to walk streets of gold with them for another 25 years or more, my husband and I recently entered another stage in our lives as empty nesters.

Just like maturity in personal life, your career life should enter various stages of maturity.

Whether you are an employee or entrepreneur take a few minutes to ask yourself if you are maturing in these top ten areas that should develop with time and age:

  1. Do you ask for help?

  2. Are you confident?

  3. Do you speak up without being asked, successes and challenges?

  4. Do you respect workplace culture?

  5. Do you respect the people you work with?

  6. Do you follow through with what you say you will do?

  7. Do you stay relevant and use proper industry terminology?

  8. Do you keep professional relationships in check?

  9. Do you limit idle time?

  10. Do you control your emotions?

If you answered yes to the ten questions, then you demonstrate maturity in the workplace. Following the top ten will automatically allow you to add to the list that you motivate and lead others. Your example in the workplace will inevitably earn the respect of others and set the example for them to follow your example of maturity.

The man I referred to was still active in the industry well into his seventies. He and I did not see each other as often in his latter years as that tends to get reserved for the immediate family and closest friends—yet I remember his presence in my life until we meet again.

Who set the example of career maturity for you and who are you setting it for?

Cheers to Maturity,

Suzanne Breistol

  • Jose Moreno

    Beautifully written Suzanne!

  • Suzanne Breistol

    Thank you Jose. I hope you and your family are well. ASPE Chapter 49 needs a reunion.

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