Here's How Handling Millions Of Dollars At My First Job Prepared Me For Life

Have you ever wondered what's it like to hold millions of dollars of diamonds in your hands?

Do you know what it feels like to wear 3.5 million dollars in your ears? Better yet, have you ever put a 10-carat flawless diamond between your fingers or traveled all over the United States with six million dollars of stones in your handbag?

Jen Grantham

Have you ever stepped into a vault that was lined with diamonds from floor to ceiling? How about being interviewed by an ex-FBI agent as part of your hiring process?

Well I have and more. My life as a diamond dealer awarded me the chance to spend all day with diamonds for 16 years. The feeling of grand extravagance paled in comparison to anything else I will probably ever experience.

But being a diamond dealer also prepared me for every other job out there imaginable.

Here's what I learned from the experience.

1. Have no fear.

When you travel with millions of dollars regularly without a bodyguard, you become fearless and create a mindset of accomplishing any task at hand no matter the complexity or the dangers.

You learn to embrace risk.

2. Get diverse experiences right out of college.

You encounter a variety of experiences when working with businesses that vary in size -- everything from small, family-owned shops to larger companies that have the power to shift political arenas in different countries.

Many people won't get to experience this type of working environment right out of college.

3. Keep it "no filter" real.

The diamond industry will mold you into an individual with thick skin. You will have the ability to say whatever is on your mind with no filter.

When you work in an office, it's all about the office niceties and politics, but you learn how to keep it real in the diamond business.

4. Be prepared for anything and everything.

When you are traveling with diamonds you have to be aware of your surroundings, and this prepares you for anything that comes your way.

There are people who get kidnapped and robbed while on the road so laser-sharp awareness is a must.

5. Negotiate like a pro.

Who doesn't love a sale? Diamond dealers are notorious negotiators -- tough, relentless and quick.

Every time they're buying or selling stones it is an artful banter of getting the best price. In no time you have the same skillset to negotiate for everything in life.

6. Network like a rockstar.

The diamond industry, like any other, holds conferences annually. Here you get to hone your networking skills, meeting people from different parts of the world.

Some are prisoners of war, others come from generation upon generations of goldsmiths and, of course, some are uber wealthy. You learn to connect with all kinds of personalities.

7. The world is bigger than you thought and there is so much to learn.

You learn the world is much bigger than you thought.

When you travel you get to see how other people view the world. It's actually a blessing to be able to have that opportunity.

8. Keep your mind sharp.

Being a diamond dealer keeps your mind sharp. You have to make decisions on a whim and you get to practice being quick-witted.

So don't let all the glitz and glam mesmerize you because there's so much more to the diamond world that can set you up for life.

I would definitely do it all over again, but this experience of a lifetime taught me lessons that can be universally applied to whatever job you take out of college.