Career Advice From the Cofounder of LinkedIn

Following the advice from those who have been through the storm and survived to tell the tale can be one of the best things you do to advance in your career. That’s because these people know exactly what you need to do in order to become rich, famous and successful, and to overcome anything that gets in your way.

While Reid Hoffman isn’t much of a celebrity himself, he has become one of the most successful people on earth with a net worth of $4.7 billion. And he owes his success to LinkedIn, the biggest professional social network in the world, which he cofounded back in 2003.

Hoffman had some great advice to share in his book The Start-Up of You, which he coauthored with Ben Casnocha, and his valuable tips are sure to help you become better in your career no matter where you are along your journey.

1. Become Known for One Thing

When you’re trying to be the best of the best and become an expert at everything, then the only thing that you actually manage to accomplish is to fail at everything. Hoffman believes that you should focus on that one thing that will help you become really good in your field. He also thinks that you should start small and to only start competing with the big sharks when you’re ready to.

“In other words,” Hoffman writes, “don’t try to be the greatest marketing executive in the world; try to be the greatest marketing executive of small-to-midsize companies that compete in the health care industry”.

2. Build Relationships

Hoffman believes that the bigger your professional network, the better the boost in your career. He explains that having a big professional network can multiply your career opportunities and gives Frank Hannigan as an example. Hannigan, an Irish entrepreneur, managed to raise more than $200,000 in funding within eight days just by reaching out to his 700 first-degree LinkedIn connections. Out of those who invested in his project, 30% were second-degree connections.

3. Be Curious

Life is unpredictable and the same applies to your career. Along the way, you will be presented with many opportunities, but how you will handle them will predict the course of your career. However, as Hoffman says, you can never be certain about how it will turn out. What you can do is be curious about what’s going on around you, and that’s when you’ll be in a better position to identify these career-changing events in your everyday life.

4. Be Resilient

Hoffman advises every professional and entrepreneur to be resilient in their career. You never know when misfortune might hit you and when bad things will happen – like getting fired or struggling to keep your company afloat – and you need to realize that it’s all just another part of the never-ending journey to success.

Things will be a bit gloomy, especially in the beginning, Hoffman warns, and he goes on to refer to Tim Westergen, Pandora Radio cofounder, who struggled with lawsuits and the constant threat of bankruptcy for almost 10 years; his resilience, however, proved vital to the company’s survival.

5. Have a Plan Z

Hoffman talks about the ABZ planning and he explains how Plan A is what you are doing right now, Plan B is what you will do if you need to change course in your career, and Plan Z is your fallback plan. Essentially, Plan Z is what you need to do if everything fails.

Hoffman’s own Plan Z came in the form of moving back into his parents’ house if things didn’t work out for him. Having a Plan Z helped him to go all in with his career goals: “[it] allowed me to be aggressive in my entrepreneurial pursuits as I knew I could draw my assets down to zero if necessary and still have a roof over my head”.

See Also: Top 5 Unique Pieces of Career Advice Nobody Mentions

Talking from personal experience, Hoffman suggests that you follow these tips that will help you build a successful career. So, make sure you’re flexible, curious, and that you’re open to opportunities because you never know what will come knocking on your door.

How are you going to make these tips work for you? Let me know in the comments section below!




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