Over the past 25+ years, I have received a lot of wise career advice. Here are the ones that have served me well.
Always do the right thing. The best life one could live was not one in which a person did big, great things that influenced the lives of millions, but one in which you made a difference in the part of the world you touched, no matter how small. A life in which you helped only one person because that was the only opportunity you had to help someone else was just as great a life as that of someone who changed the lives of millions. ~ My Papa
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs
Look for the job you would take if you didn’t need the money. You really want to think about what will make you feel good, when you get older, about your life, and you at least generally want to keep going in that direction. ~ Warren Buffett
तस्मादसक्त: सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर |
असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुष: ||
Translation – Without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme.
~ Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 19
Arm yourself with specific knowledge. This is knowledge that you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you. Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now. Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others. ~ Naval Ravikant
I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two.
Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes. ~ JK Rowling
I can honestly say that nothing good in my life has ever happened from the safety of my comfort zone. It’s all those moments where you feel challenged, where you think:
‘Oh crap, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea’ and then ponder giving up — if you can get through this stage of doubt and make it out the other side — I promise you, this is where the good stuff happens. ~ Richard Branson
Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself. Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire. Work only with people you enjoy. ~ Charlie Munger
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive.
I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. It’s not the only thing that he taught me though: I watched the affect my father’s love and humour and how it altered the world around me, and I thought, ‘That’s something to do, that’s something worth my time.’
The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. ~ Jim Carrey
The world is a very malleable place. If you know what you want, and you go for it with maximum energy and drive and passion, the world will often reconfigure itself around you much more quickly and easily than you would think. ~ Marc Andreessen
Do not seek early career success! Instead of trying to impress others with your title or your pay, focus on what you learn, who you help and what habits and skills you develop. ~ Seth Godin
You can have a job, or you can have a career, or you can have a calling. And if you can somehow figure out how to have a calling, you have hit the jackpot, cause that’s the big deal. ~ Jeff Bezos
…if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:
1. Become the best at one specific thing.
2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.
The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try. The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort.
At least one of the skills in your mixture should involve communication, either written or verbal. And it could be as simple as learning how to sell more effectively than 75% of the world. That’s one. Now add to that whatever your passion is, and you have two, because that’s the thing you’ll easily put enough energy into to reach the top 25%. If you have an aptitude for a third skill, perhaps business or public speaking, develop that too. ~ Scott Adams
Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids. ~ Eric Schmidt
Before I close, here’s something I drew for my kids on finding their careers –
That’s about it from me for today.
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