Are you just starting out in your career? If so, you’re probably going to need a lot of guidance. Not because I don’t believe you are capable of success but because there are many things you need to be aware of in order to make it happen. You’ve heard all that cliché career advice like “do what you love” a million times before and, the truth is, it no longer has an effect on you whatsoever.
So, what can you do? Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t just follow your passion, but something larger than yourself”. If you’re looking for a little guidance in your career, then you can take the advice of those who have been there and done that. And if you don’t follow their advice, you could potentially be missing out on some great opportunities in your career.
Here’s some valuable career advice from people who were once in the same place as you are now and who learned their lesson the hard way.
1. Marissa Mayer
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer shares some advice she once received from a friend: pick something and make it great. As far as it concerns making the right career choice, you are never going to know which one is the best. But the good thing is that you can make it work if you choose to invest yourself in it and by becoming an expert in your field.
2. Suze Orman
Once you start becoming successful and gaining the recognition you truly deserve, understand that there will be people criticizing you and your every move. And while getting feedback about what you’re doing can be a good thing, nasty criticism can hold you back. What motivation speaker, author and CNBC host Suze Orman came to realize is that there’s always going to be someone who wants to bring you down. What matters, however, is that you stay true to your goals and ignore their unhelpful advice.
3. Arianna Huffington
Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Arianna believes in the art of unplugging. Contrary to popular belief, success can’t be achieved when you’re constantly pushing yourself to the extreme. Her advice is not to work too hard and to find the time to sit back and relax while rewarding yourself for what you’ve accomplished so far.
4. Stewart Butterfield
Not everything goes according to plan. At some point, you might find yourself on a completely different path from the one you started out on, whether you like it or not. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Stewart Butterflied, the Flickr co-founder and Slack CEO, believes that you should have an experimental attitude throughout your career. Experimenting with different things and constantly learning helps you discover what you really enjoy doing.
5. Maya Angelou
World-renowned author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou says that if there’s something that doesn’t make you happy, you have to step out of your own way and create your path to success. This means that you should take the road that is less traveled and to make your own luck.
6. J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling says that she knows a thing or two about failure. But, really, who doesn’t? Rowling, however, sees failure as an eye-opening experience and a learning curve. Before she managed to get the first Harry Potter book published and become one of the most successful and wealthy women in the world that she is today, Rowling was a single mom living on welfare and had her manuscript rejected by 12 different book publishers. But that never stopped her from keeping trying. Her advice is to embrace failure because it will come to you, anyway.
7. Richard Branson
The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, believes that time spent on looking back and worrying about your past failures is simply time wasted. In fact, he advises future entrepreneurs to never regret the choices they have made, even the bad ones, because those choices are the reason they are where they are today. The secret is seeing failure as a learning curve instead of an obstacle and to move onto the next thing if something just isn’t working out for you.
8. Mark Bartels
StumbleUpon’s CEO Mark Bartels has an interesting proposition. Instead of planning your career based on how much you make, you should plan your career moves through the jobs that you accept. Bartels is a strong believer that having an agenda helps you evaluate your professional development.
9. Eric Schmidt
Google executive Eric Schmidt says that you should find a way to say “yes” to more things. Chase those opportunities that are presented to you, even the ones you aren’t very comfortable with, because they’ve got a lot to give you in terms of experience and knowledge. So, take risks and try to learn something new every step of the way.
10. Brian Chesky
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, shares an unconventional piece of advice: if you want to be successful in your career, you should never listen to your parents or anyone else that is putting any pressure on you. Even though your parents are perhaps the most important people in your life, you sometimes just have to do what you think is best for yourself, including the course you want to take in your career.
So, what’s the best career advice you’ve ever got? Let me know in the comments section below!