5 Savvy Ways Men of Color Can Position Themselves for Success

by LP Green, II

It’s no secret that you need to be smart to succeed in today’s global market. Education consultant Howard Jean, embraces this notion and has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping young adults strengthen their education. Jean is the principal of Success through Education, Inspiration, & Leadership L.L.C., a consulting firm that specializes in working with education institutions and organizations to support growth, program development, and management.

As a result of Jean’s extraordinary success, including being a director at Call Me MISTER, a college program that empowers young men of color, he has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tavis Smiley Radio Show, and in Essence magazine.

Jean shares some of his personal quips about the power of education for young males of color to advance their skills and education:

Remember, college is not the last stop when it comes to learning. “Your undergraduate experience only prepares you to begin the professional learning process and equips you with general information to begin exploring the industry you desire to enter, ” Jean says. “Once you enter your profession, you must keep learning to be recognized as one of the best in your field.”

Connecting with global professionals and businesspeople is vital. As an emerging leader, begin doing some international networking and building relationships abroad via the Web, he adds. “Once relationships are built, you should invest in travel. As a young professional, traveling to learn will benefit you on many levels beyond what a lecture, documentary, book, or Website can provide.”

Be sure to increase your self-awareness through reflection. Jean encourages journal writing as the best way to learn who you are. “Learning more about others makes you smart, but learning more about yourself makes you wise,” he adds. “Your mistakes, accomplishments, and fears are all lessons that should be understood in a deeper context beyond the moment in which they happen, thus, reflection is the best teacher.”

Always remain curious. Curiosity is the foundation of learning and intellectual growth. “You should always maintain a curious nature that drives you to explore, go further, and dig deeper in your professional endeavors,” Jean says.

Read more and become a self-learner. “Many people romanticize about the success of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey,” he says, “but what they often fail to realize is the level of dedication and self-taught skills they developed from reading on their own. This is why you must make a commitment to read a book at least once a month. Odds are, once you begin reading a book once a month, your curiosity and thirst for reading will increase.”

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