- Pine-Richland High School
- Speaker Series
Suit Up And Give It 100%
“Suit Up And Give It 100%”
On December 9th, 2019, Pine-Richland FBLA graciously hosted Mr. Thomas Swartout to speak to our members for our monthly meeting. Two weeks after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, he began his career in the financial services business. He now works as a Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual Financial. Through his experience of working in the business field for so many years, Mr. Swartout has learned about the most important characteristics to have in the workforce. Our members were extremely lucky to hear and learn from his expertise.
The first point that Mr. Swartout made to our members was to be the best version of yourself while your pursue your career. He expanded on this by explaining it is important to be your best self personally, socially, and professionally. This will help you find the perfect career path due to the fact that you are being who you truly are. He went on to explain that it is always in your best interest to be polite and have a strict filter while you are out and about. “It’s a personality business” explained Mr. Swartout, so it is vital to be yourself no matter what.
His second point was to be upbeat. Mr. Swartout made the point that you can almost say anything with a smile on your face. Smiling and being polite goes a long way, especially because smiling radiates positivity. Being a positive employee in the workforce is important because your internal energy will make people gravitate towards you. Positivity can build strong relationships in the workplace will make your job more enjoyable.
Third, Mr. Swartout suggested to be a hard worker. The top employees in companies are always the hardest workers. He told us to self reflect and ask ourselves, “What am I putting on the line?” to evaluate our work ethic and success in whatever career we are pursuing. He also said to suit up and give it 100 percent everyday. Always give it your all because it is easy to distinguish yourself in a company with hard work. People respect hard work, and it is important to surround yourself with hard workers and strong employees that you can get along with. Although, it is always great to “eat some humble pie” and ground yourself as you move up in a company.
Mr. Swartout’s fourth point was to always be accountable. Everyday you wake up and make choices, and you should want to make the right choices. There are two paths that you can take when it comes to making decisions, so make sure you take the right path. He then explained to our members that you don't want to regret your younger life choices as you age. Integrity is what you do when no one is looking, so be sure to make good choices on your own.
His 5th point that he made during his presentation was to be selfish. It is your life, and it is your direction. It is important to take care of people and be thoughtful and helpful, but it is also important to worry about yourself, too. He said to think about what you want and where you want to go. You should figure out how to meet your goals, and think about what you want to do with your goals. He suggested to get into a field because it is something that you are interested in, which will build an enjoyable career path for you. Always listen to yourself and go with your gut because you know yourself the best. If you know who you are as a person, you will find your perfect career and enjoy it.
After sharing the important characteristics that an individual needs to thrive in the workforce, Mr. Swartout then shared a few tips with our members to better themselves. He shared that communication is everything. Getting to know people is vital in any career. He warned us to not overuse technology, so he suggested that we work our our face to face communication skills. Body language is an important aspect of communication that we all need to focus on as we build our face to face skills. In addition, he told our members to read the newspaper. It is never a bad idea to be worldly and have a global idea of what is happening in the world around you. He stressed to be interesting in your own way and that there is more to life than just what you post on social media. Mr. Swartout said that “you learn a lot more with your mouth closed” to strengthen his point about the importance of reading and learning about the world. Being a doer and your own fact checker will help you develop strong self reliance skills that will transfer into your career bath. He finished by stating that you always want to provide value to a company.
Thank you Mr. Swartout for taking the time to share your insights with the members of Pine-Richland FBLA.
Payton McGee, Reporter