I was having lunch with two young (early twenties) employees the other day and was giving them suggestions on what they should be thinking about as they begin their careers.
I told them that I had two pieces of advice, that I believe apply to any career.
First, become comfortable speaking in public. It's not easy, and it takes consistent effort over time. But the more you do it, the easier it gets. And given that 95% of people are more afraid of speaking in public than anything else (including death), it is a natural differentiator no matter what your chosen profession is.
Second, become comfortable with change. More than comfortable, find a way to get off on change. To the point where you become uncomfortable when there isn't enough change in your life. If your job doesn't regularly force you to accept, create or manage new ways of doing things, you find a way to force it to do so. When you get to a place where comfort=discomfort and vice versa, then you know that you are there.
If you make those two things a priority in your life, I believe that you will differentiate yourself amongst nearly all of your colleagues, no matter what you do for a living.
What do you tell young folks they should be working on?