Career Advice

Last week, we were asked to host a group of students from a local college that are interested in business.  I put together some talking points to share with them.  I have shared similar advice with new hires at I.D. Images.  It has been well received.  Let me know what you think.

Below are some thoughts I put together for our discussion.  Remember, free advice is worth what you pay for it!

  1. You and only you own your career.  Not HR.  Not a parent.  Not a significant other.  You.  Invest in you.
  2. We are taught to think linearly.  Second grade comes after first grade, etc.  Careers aren’t linear.  When I was 23, my long term goal was to own a business.  I took steps to get there.  Those steps weren’t linear.  Think of your career as hiking up or climbing a mountain.  Sometimes you go down before you go up.  Focus on the summit.  Have goals.
  3. The more helpful you are, the more people will want to help you.  Figure out where there are needs and help fill them.
  4. Ask questions.  The worst you’ll hear is no.  Most people want to help and want you to succeed.  Take advantage of their willingness to help.
  5. The axiom, “Showing up is half the battle,” is mostly true.  I would change that statement a little, “Showing up with a positive attitude is more than half the battle.”
  6. Learn your industry.  You don’t need to become an expert in your industry but you have to be knowledgeable.  Subscribe to trade publications.  Talk to industry veterans.  Learning doesn’t end when you leave school. 
  7. Network, network, network. See #3 and 4.  Network within and outside the company.  Network within and outside your industry.  Networking isn’t just connecting on LinkedIn.  Networking isn’t asking for help.  Networking is understanding the other person and figuring how you can help him or her.
  8. Have fun!  Not every day will be fun.  But as a general rule, if I’m having more bad days than good days, I think that’s a sign to change something.  If you are consistently having bad days, change something or let someone know. 
  9. University of Chicago Booth School of Business education summarized in two statements:
    1. Options (meaning choices) are valuable.  Create options for yourself.
    1. CIMITYM.  Cashflow Is More Important Than Your Mother.

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