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Tracey Zimmerman

5 employer tips for young professionals

Stephanie King

— May 12, 2022

If 85 percent of the jobs available in 2030 currently do not exist, how can learners and earners, especially those who are just starting out on their employment journey, prepare for those roles? Tracey Zimmerman, President & CEO of Robots and Pencils, an award-winning strategy, design and development firm, said there are fundamental skills for everyone to learn to be successful in their career.

Read on for her five tips for learners who are early on in their careers.

Develop an expertise in something. 

Try to figure out what you’re good at and what your strengths are. Zimmerman learned early on that she was a good developer, so she grew that skill set and excelled in that area. 

Learn how to learn.

Because jobs are changing all the time, learning to learn is one of the most important skills that you can have, said Zimmerman. She also recommended not getting too attached to one area of work because it may get automated, new tools may come out that change your role, and it may bring a new opportunity.

Be a good collaborator.

Zimmerman said it’s how you show up to work and how you work with your colleagues — that ultimately matters a lot.

Be open to new opportunities.

Zimmerman suggested that, early in your career, say “yes” to everything. See it as a learning opportunity and a chance to help others along the way.

Ask questions to understand how the business works.

Oftentimes, employees get consumed with the work that their department is doing and don’t see the big picture of the organization’s purpose. “It seems like obvious advice, but I have found in my career that it is not,” said Zimmerman. “People don’t always understand that what they do ties into serving your customers.” 

Once you are able to see the company’s work more holistically, you can see the problems and help develop solutions.


Lastly, Zimmerman reminded participants that everyone is capable of greatness. “You have a different background than anybody else who works with you,” said Zimmerman. “Every person is unique and can bring something to the table.”

Zimmerman shared this advice as a presenter at ShapingEDU’s Spotlight Mini-Summit: Emerging Credentials x Future Employment. Watch the full session:

Stephanie King

Stephanie King