Chances are you’ve been inundated with news about Prince Harry’s engagement to philanthropist and actress Meghan Markle, but here are five little-known tidbits about the royal-to-be, gleaned from various interviews, that could inspire you to be a better professional in 2018.
Be scrappy with the talents and resources you have. While auditioning for acting jobs, Markle moonlighted as a calligrapher to pay the bills to keep her dream alive. Sometimes, especially when resources are scarce and the business tightens its belt, it’s necessary to hunker down and be more creative to make ends meet. Whatever your current predicament, consider partnering with other departments or forging new mutually beneficial relationships to help you accomplish the goals you’ve set your sights on.
Try to effect change on a small scale and build on your successes. As an impressionable 11-year-old, Markle began a life of activism by getting a large corporation to change what she perceived to be a sexist TV commercial. It started small — writing letters to women in power — and gained steam as she found a platform to voice her opinion on a larger scale. If an obstacle at work looks too arduous to tackle head-on, start chipping away at it and get others involved who believe in the cause and can help inch you closer to your goal.
Get a better understanding of what your stakeholders do so you can partner with them more effectively. Even though she was a star on the hit TV show “Suits” at the time, when approached to be a U.S. ambassador, Markle first asked to fly out and shadow someone at the U.N. to understand the ins and outs of the organization so she could be a more effective contributor. As you partner with stakeholders on various projects, do your due diligence and put yourself in their shoes so you can speak more confidently to the issues they’re facing.
Put your full weight behind anything you attach your name to. Markle has cited this quote time and again, “Don’t give it five minutes unless you’re willing to give it five years.” She has spoken about her experiences with rejection and being on the brink of quitting the industry when it got to be too disheartening to move on, but the promise of being full committed to something made her stick it out and eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel the minute the tide seems to be against you, but hang in there and be confident that your efforts will pay off in the future.
Make it a priority to inspire others with the work you do. For years, Markle founded and hosted the now-defunct lifestyle blog “The Tig” with the purpose of inspiring self-confidence and sparking change. Whether you’re officially a leader in your organization or not, strive to be a person of influence by inspiring and encouraging others around you through your personality and your work. Going the extra mile may not always seem immediately worthwhile, but will pay dividends over time. Ask yourself: “What do I want to be known for or remembered for?” and then strive to align your actions. Oftentimes it’s the intangibles that you’ll be remembered for. What can you do in 2018 that will take you a step closer to fulfilling your legacy?
Speaking of being scrappy with the resources you have, commit to increasing your efficiency in 2018 using some of these tried-and-true tactics.