Career Advice For Young Professionals and Leaders

While we are editorial independent and recommend the best products through an independent review process, we may receive compensation if you click on links to partners we recommend.

Sections of this topic

    How many of you in college or graduate school had a course, or even a workshop, on managing your career? I bet not many because too many young professionals and emerging leaders come to me for coaching with all kinds of career and leadership concerns.

    Career Intelligence #1 gave 20 real world practical ideas about managing one’s career . Here are 20 additional ones gleaned from a conference presentation where the audience was asked “what great advice did they received during their successful career?”

    Some quoted a great boss, others a mentor or coach or professional colleague and others a family member – mother, father, sister, brother in law, even a grand mother.

    Which ones can you start using right now?

    1. You never get what you deserve just what you negotiate.
    2. You are only valuable to a company when you add value to the company.
    3. Always ask your boss what you can do to make him/her look good to their boss.
    4. The day you stop managing things and start managing people you become a leader.
    5. Do you think he /she (your boss) would turn down a great offer to stay and work with you?
    6. The tough part is not the knowing what you must do but the doing what you know you must do.
    7. Treat people well on the way up as you never know who you will when you are on the way down.
    8. If you remove negativity and embarrassment from your mind, you will be much more successful.
    9. Always know the difference between job monotony and job dissatisfaction before you decide to quit.
    10. Check all activities to see if they are value adders or energy suckers and abandon the energy suckers.
    11. Good managers don’t actually manage? They LEAD. And its corollary: It’s awfully tough to push a rope.
    12. Employee is paid in two coins – by cash and by experience. Take the experience first; the cash will naturally follow.
    13. You don’t have to be friends with the people you work with. You just have to get along with them enough to do your job.
    14. Follow the money trail. (Translation: get aligned with the business groups who are generating revenue for the organization.
    15. If you don’t quickly make decisions about the path you want to take, sooner or later, someone else makes that decision for you.
    16. Accept a job because you want to work for the company, have the experience and because you agree with their values. Bosses leave.
    17. You don’t have to win every argument. Even if you’re right, sometimes it’s better to have the other guy walk away thinking he is.
    18. Only through failure and pain do you really grow. So don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes and fail…just make different ones each time.
    19. If you want to be a manager, be aware that you won’t get to play with the toys anymore; you will be looking after the people that play with the toys.
    20. Success is measured in different terms for each of us. It is much more important to do what makes us happy than it is to imitate someone else.

    Career Success Tip:

    A casual piece of friendly or professional advice, given at a time when you’re open to it and even perhaps need it, can change everything. Career intelligence is relevant no matter what your job function is or what kind of company you work for. Everyone must have career smarts to succeed in today’s workplace. Also see Keys to Career and Life Success, Five Career killers For High Achievers, What Your Career Success IQ?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?