Best Career Advice I Ever Got

Published Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:53 PM

Do you ever look at successful people-business honchos, inventors of must-have devices, celebrated authors and speakers-and wonder how they got there? What magic recipe transformed them from Average Joe to front-page news?

While there is no "secret sauce" for success, listening to career advice from people you admire comes pretty close. We've rounded up the best career advice you never got (at least in person anyway). Follow these gems and you will be well-served, both at work and in life.

Get Seduced: Passion is the key to balance says writer Susan Tardanico in this piece.When you love your paid work, and pursue other things you love, be it family or hobbies, you find time in your life for it all, says Tardanico. Other advice? Be resilient and don't fear failure: mistakes get made, things fall apart, you need to learn from what wrong and move on. Calling her entire career an "accident," Tardanico also cautions against spending time planning for the future and instead advocates cultivating one's own "brilliance." Bottom line: Find what you love, do it well and trust that the rest will take care of itself.

Pay Attention: Joyce Lain Kennedy's wonderful year-end career advice  piece can be summed up thus: pay attention. Don't coast along assuming job security is yours and that you remain employable. Rather, pay attention to your career; fight obsolescence by keeping your skills fresh, your network cultivated and overhauling your job hunting tools (i.e. when did you last update your LinkedIn profile?) Bottom line: Jobs are awarded by HR departments, not careers: be sure to nourish your own.

Be Yourself: Sometimes the best advice is to ignore bad advice. This tip was shared by many of the New York City women making up a recent list of Crain's Top Fifty most powerful women. Top executives in fields as different as education, the cultural arts and fashion, all revealed the bad advice they received over the years. Instead of heeding advice that didn't sit right, these women remained authentic and on-track by listening to their inner voice. Bottom line: Too thine own self be true. Props to Shakespeare for this solid career advice.

What is the best career advice you ever received? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.


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