Yesterday, one of our Career Center team members came into the office having just spilled coffee on her shirt whilst driving to work. As we talked about how to best hide the stain for her meetings throughout the day, I remembered that hanging in my office was a black blazer that I keep in my office “just-in-case.” She threw on the blazer, and it covered up the stains so she could go about her day looking polished and professional (and, might I add, it fit perfectly!).
This blazer was one which I had long ago left in The Career Center one day, but decided to keep there after a conversation with another colleague about a tie that I found in an office drawer. The tie, I found out, was used by a previous tenant of my office during our On-Campus Recruiting programs in the event that someone came in for an interview without a tie, or needed to learn how to tie one in preparation for an interview of their own. I looked at the black blazer hanging in my office (which I had consistently forgotten to bring home with me each day… oops) and I knew that if it stayed hanging there, its time of necessity would come… and it did!
The age-old motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be Prepared,” and I think that saying holds true for most, if not all, aspects of our lives—especially our careers! Whether you keep a few printed resumes in a portfolio during a meeting with your advisor, or business cards in your pocket at a networking event, you can keep yourself ready for any opportunity that may present itself to you. Of course, we never know what can happen over the course of a semester, a week, or even a day. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a very different position at the end of the day than when we woke up! Similarly, you never know when something will pop up that affects a friend, family member, or colleague, and your preparation or quick-thinking could be the thing that not only gets them through, but shows them they have your support. Our best weapon against uncertainty is to expect the unexpected, and when we see an opportunity to prepare ourselves for whatever may arise (like keeping a black blazer at the ready), we should do so!