This Livestream is based on a two-week internship that our CEO and Founder of Active Peers AI Susan HayesCulleton facilitated for a wealth management company in late August. During the internship, Susan used Active Peers AI, both the ethos and the technology, numerous times. For instance, Susan used the Active Peers AI Survey Tool to help the group identify their strengths and their areas of improvement and then match people accordingly to spread knowledge around effectively. Susan also used the Custom Prompter to help the interns prepare for a podcast interview.
During the Q&A session with Susan, the audience posed the following questions:
1) "What soft or hard skills should I acquire in my early career days?"
According to Susan, curiosity is an important soft skill that everyone should have. One should be curious about different things, for instance, what the company is doing, what the trends of a sector are, where the industry is heading, and what other people's stories are. Susan also reckons that curiosity can lead to closer relationships and more authentic networking.
As for hard skills, Susan believes that no code development technology is something that everyone should learn. No code development technology is a type of web development that does not require you to learn how to write code. It is easy to learn and allows you to try out different things. Susan deems no code development as an important building block of digital transformation, as do most companies nowadays.
2) "What should I be doing to improve my career prospects?"
Susan reckons that it is important to first determine what career success means to you, as it means something different to everyone. It could mean more prestige, more responsibility, better work-life balance, a promotion, etc. Then, Susan recommends that you to ask others how they succeeded in their careers in that particular aspect. For instance, if you want more seniority, find someone who has seniority and ask them how they achieved it. Hence, you should first determine what you want from your career and then talk to people who have achieved what you want.
Other than this, Susan suggests building upon your own skills and learning consistently. Susan believes that you should do something small every day that contributes to building your skills, such as listening to a podcast or TEDxTalk. Susan also recommends writing down what you have learnt or achieved every day so that you can reflect and bank your learnings. However, as Susan stresses, consistency to learn is key.
3) "What advice would you have liked to have heard when you were starting out?"
When Susan was just starting out, she said she thought that hard work meant it had to be unenjoyable and required grit and sacrifice. However, Susan soon realized that she was wrong. Susan now strongly believes that real growth comes from enjoyment and hence her motto now is "enjoyment is a superpower". Susan has realized that the more she enjoys her work, the better she gets at it.
Susan also stresses that everyone has a lot of time to achieve everything they want to even though it might not seem like so. Susan reckons that people often overestimate what they can achieve in a short amount of time but underestimate what they can achieve in a long period of time. Thus, Susan believes that having consistency in what you do every day is far more important than what you do once in a while.
4) "What kind of questions should I ask at a networking event to break the ice with others?"
Firstly, Susan believes that is always good to ask people what they do. However, it might not always be easy to understand what people actually do. Hence, it is a good idea to ask them for an example of a case study or a client that they worked with recently so that you can have a better understanding of what they do and have a more meaningful conversation.
Secondly, Susan recommends you to ask others how you can help them achieve their goals. Although building relationships and networks is based on reciprocity, they all have to start somewhere and Susan thinks that sometimes you would have to be the one to take the first step.
Lastly, Susan suggests you to digitally connect with people that you meet during the event, whether it is on Linkedln or other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter. This is because Susan believes that making connections is an essential part of networking.