Career Advice for the Young Professional

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    We’ve all had successes and even some failures in our career. What can we learn?

    Here are words of wisdom from experienced leaders I interviewed for a career management presentation at a recent young professional conference.

    Seven tips to guide your career.

    1. Have big enough goals.
    “Don’t pay any attention to those well-meaning naysayers who warn you that you can’t do it. You’re young, assume anything is possible, and then go out and do it.”

    2. But choose strategically.
    “Successful professionals don’t start out asking, what needs to be done? Rather, they ask, What is important and how can I and my team make a difference?”

    3. Stop being the Lone Ranger.
    “One of the most important things is to be humble enough to allow others to help you. We seem to need to come up with our own brilliant ideas. My career didn’t move forward until I was willing to listen to others, especially those who had more experience than I did.”

    4. Don’t burn bridges along the way.
    “Each profession may seem big – but, as you move up in your career, you come to realize how ‘small’ each really is. Something you said or done may comes back to haunt you.”

    5. Pull the plug sooner than later.
    “Sometimes to change a situation, you have to change the situation. Don’t be afraid to change people, expectations, goals as long as you’ve thought it through. There’s a saying, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

    6. Swim in water over you head.
    “You gotta do things outside your comfort zone. Seek out opportunities to learn, to lead, to live on the edge occasionally. It’s the only way to grow.”

    7. Finally, money is not everything.
    “A great salary doesn’t equate to happiness. It’s doing what you really enjoy. Remember, you’ll be living and working for many years – perhaps another 40. Make the most of them.”

    What are some of your lessons learned in your career?

    I would enjoy hearing from both young and seasoned professionals as well as leaders. I’ll compile your words of wisdom for a future blog.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?

    • ch.