It takes most young adults a while to get a grasp on the whole career thing. Thoughts are always flowing: How early should I get to work? How late should I stay? What does my boss think about me? Even after eight years in the working world, I still have questions. Needless to say, I was extremely excited to see Chad Smith, vice president of account services at Intouch Solutions, present “13 Things to Know Before You’re 33: Life Lessons from an Industry Vet,” hosted by Ad 2 Kansas City.

The event started with an hour of networking so everyone could socialize before the presentation. Attendees were excited to meet Chad and hear everything he was about to share. Once Chad was introduced, he immediately dropped some knowledge on us with tip no. 1: “Always give them more than they ask for.” Then the slide changed and the presentation became “23 Things to Know Before You’re 33.” He continued with some personal life details, which consisted of dumb stuff in between college and becoming the wise old man he is today. But I got the most out of his simple words of wisdom:

  • Interviewers know if you have the job two minutes into the interview, so be dynamic, be engaging, be yourself.
  • If you don’t have a solution, then you just have a complaint.
  • Be the standard to which others are compared. You’ve got to stand out if you want to move forward in your career.
  • Master the basics before trying to reinvent the industry.
  • Being reliable is sometimes more important than being a rock star. Be the person you know they can trust and get more opportunities.

Chad certainly practiced what he preached; he was dynamic, engaging and wholly himself throughout the presentation. During his speech, attendees were hooked on his every word. People were laughing and nodding their heads as a sign that they were picking up what he was putting down. I even got a fist bump while he was talking because I helped plan the event. The night ended with a boisterous round of applause and a line of people who wanted speak with Chad and pick his brain some more. After that night, I knew three things for sure:

  • If Chad speaks at another Ad 2 event, you better grab your tickets early.
  • If he ever writes a book, I’m buying it.
  • You’re never too old for advice on how to improve your career and your life.

About AAF-KC and Ad 2
American Advertising Federation Kansas City (AAF-KC) is an advertising club in Kansas City and a member of District 9 of the American Advertising Federation. As one of the largest AAF clubs in the country, it is one club that houses two organizations: Ad 2 is an age-32-and-under group for ad professionals, and Art+Copy Club is a group designed for creatives, copywriters, designers and the like. Each group is a part of AAF-KC but serves the membership in more specific ways. View their website to learn more at