What’s The Best Career Advice EVER?

I just read about Charlene Li’s departure from Forrester.  She has been there for a long, long, long time (by her calculations, “36 Internet years or 63 dog years”).  In her post she talked about the best career advice she ever got, and links to this post on the practically-defunct Jobster blog.  Excellent stuff.

In a nutshell: “plan for job obsolescence every 18 months

So I wondered, what’s the BEST career advice YOU ever got?  Please share!

14 thoughts on “What’s The Best Career Advice EVER?”

  1. The best career advice I ever got was from my wife who told me to quit a job when we really couldn’t afford to and there wasn’t another job waiting for me. She knew it wasn’t healthy for me to be there.

    Since then, that employer has had tremendous turnover and my colleagues have jumped like rats leaving a sinking ship. I am in a better job, making more money with better benefits and our first kid on the way.

  2. My college program head told me on the last day of my college career that he didn’t think I’d have any problem getting a job, just a problem keeping it. “You’re a hustler, but you’ve got an attitude problem”.

    Thank you – working for myself has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Wish I’d listened to him before wasting 18 years of my life with a J.O.B.

  3. My boyfriend told me I was waisting my time and talent with training people at my previous employer. I was not learning anything that would advance my career. I moved to Puerto Rico and challenged myself to start a resume writing and job search business. I am learning about setting real goals that will help me get ahead in life. If I don’t do what I say, than it is my fault and no one else. I am not just writing goals down on a piece of paper to fill up my employee file.

  4. “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal” – Earl Nightingale. Progressive meaning that you are taking at least one step, regardless of size, towards your vision each day. Realization mean that you are turning your ideas into reality. Worthy means that the idea is worth of YOU, not the other way around. And finally, an ideal is an idea that you are passionately in love with. You will take that step each day regardless of how things appear, good or bad. Thank you to Bob Proctor to sharing Earl’s words of wisdom with me several years ago. This mindset works!

  5. Know what you have to offer and what you want in return. Know this now. Reassess every week, every month, every year. That’s how you know whether it is time to move on, time to be patient, time to research higher education options or time to put your spouse’s career first. Until you know yourself and what you bring now and what you want to bring in the future, no one can help you or your career. Oh, and don’t expect it to come to you. Get up and go look for it!

    Susan Strayer
    HR Executive
    Author, The Right Job Right Now

  6. This may be a little long but its been shaped by many years of experience and coaching of others.

    Connect to the business, learn the “language”, and understand the business cycle – regardless of which functional area your in.
    Develop a web of champions and support across multiple disciplines within the company to help shape a broad perspective. Be curious about the world and stay abreast of trends and influencers that affect your craft and company/industry. Let people know what you want with respect to your career – experiences, exposures, growth…. And, most importantly, savor your soul and your health above all else. If the culture/environment isn’t healthy have the courage to take the next step.

  7. The best career advice I have received has helped shaped who I am. My first mentor, Chuck Kauffman, was remarkable. He passed away a few years ago and I miss his drive for me.

    I met Chuck my senior year in college where he was a guest speaker in my fundamentals of entrepreneurship class. Long story short:

    Chuck saw my passion for marketing and entrepreneurial drive and also noticed I was “mature beyond my years”. I heard this from many people, but it was chuck who payed attention to my unique abilities and did not hang on the easy one size fits all advice. Before I/we moved forward with some business strategy, Chuck gave me a specific plan of training with reason why. Chuck wanted me to work for a retained search firm as a generalist executive recruiter so I could “hang out with grey hairs” and “learn how to build best in class teams”.

    A far stretch from any career path I had in mind, but the logic was unmistakable. Today I know how to pay attention to others immediate environment and future. Now I seek out people who want to learn and make a significant impact — now I help create strategic career plans that are not so obvious to the untrained eye (we are all to close to ourselves). So instead of starting an ad agency as part of my childhood dream, I started what is like an advertising agency, but for people.

    Every day is remarkable – thank you Chuck!

  8. The very day you start a job you should start revising your resume and begin looking for a new job. A colleague who’s similarly job hopped every 18-36 months told me this, and with the economic rift we are in, it’s all the more important.

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