Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Career Advice For Everyone From Recent Graduates To CEO’s

1.    Try to plan your career
A career plan is like a road map to get from here to there.  You can make stops and detours and even change your mind about the destination.  But if you don’t know where you are going, it is very hard to get there.  If you know where you want to go, even vaguely, you can determine the experiences you want and think you will need in order to succeed.  That will guide you on a job change. 

2.    Look at each job as the portal to your next job
If you love or hate your job, it is incumbent on you to continue to do your job to the best of your ability.  If you do well, you will feel better about yourself.  Your positive attitude will help you get your next move.  No one likes a whiner, so keep your complaints to yourself.

3.    Use your current job to assess your likes and dislikes as well as your strengths and weaknesses
Working should be a learning process.  Even negative experiences can provide excellent direction for the future.  But understanding what works for you and what does not, should help you from making wrong choices.  As you build your career, it is important to self-assess to determine what you did well and what issues came up for you.

4.    Trust your instincts while interviewing
If a job doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right.  If you have questions about the people you meet, trust yourself.  Don’t take a job just to get a job; people who are out of work tend to do this, but it could be career suicide.

5.    Try to find a mentor
Almost all successful people have a senior who believes in them.  A mentor is a senior person who is in a position to influence other senior executives.  They can push you ahead and look out for your career. Those people not only are good for networking, but if they trust you to succeed, they can provide important opportunities for you. It is hard to find a mentor.  Look at the senior people in your company who you admire, then try to get to know them.

6.    Volunteer for extra duty
Get involved in new business, international or things which will give you exposure to management and other senior people – one of whom could turn out to be your mentor.

7.    Don’t change jobs too often if you can help it
Companies are skittish about hiring someone who takes a new job every year or eighteen months.  They equate your job changes with instability and are afraid you will leave them, too.  Sometimes the change is necessary, but often people move prematurely.  You must learn to assess the pros and cons of a job change.

8.    Never move just for money
Money can lead you in the wrong direction.  While taking another job for a huge salary increase is tempting, the expectations the company may have for you could be above your capabilities. Or it could be outside your current experience.  

9.    Ask Yourself how any job will contribute to your career path
All jobs should add to your career plan. Before accepting a job, ask yourself  if and how it contributes to your goals. it.  Although it may seem strange to ask yourself what the job will lead to if it fails, it is a very important issue to think about right from the time you start interviewing in earnest.

10.   Only take jobs you can succeed in
This may seem obvious, but it isn’t.  Use interviews to gather information about the company.  Finding out the resources and support you will have to do the job.  Some companies have systemic problems which you may or may not be able to solve or work with issues you uncover while interviewing..  If you are lucky enough to be offered multiple jobs, determine which one will allow you succeed the most.  This is true at every level of the business, from entry to chairman.


  1. Great advice Paul! I'd add, push through a tough situation if you can. The best advice I ever got from a recruiter (before I even met you) was to stick it out when I was in a tough spot. Had been moved to a new account and my new supervisor was difficult and very hard to please. When I went to the recruiter and asked her to find me another position, she made me explain all the reasons why and then told me all the reasons I should NOT leave. Sure, she could have placed me and made a commission, but she was looking out for me and my long-term career. I took her advice and stuck it out, and it was definitely the right thing to do.

    Just another example of why building a strong relationship with a good recruiter (like you) and trusting their expertise will stand you in good stead in the long run.

    1. It is always best to look for a job when you are doing well and when you feel good about what you are doing and accomplishing. The recruiter gave you good advice.

  2. Solid advice. I would add, 'never burn a bridge'. As for 'don't change jobs too often', not sure how closely adhered to this will be with younger ad pros.

  3. Never burn bridges is great advice. Even when someone finally looses their temper with an abusive boss, the anger can come back and bite you. As for changing jobs, that is why I wrote, "If you can help it." Younger ad pros seem to change jobs with greater frequency than they did years ago.

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