As the end of 2012 approaches, people start to think about new beginnings. Many working people think about where they are in their careers – and with modest merit pools and employee engagement ebbing in many organizations, often they’re thinking about how to take the next step. If you’re among those who feel stuck, or just want to improve your positioning for the next step, the following are thoughts from the several members of the board of advisors at the Workforce Institute at Kronos.
Best Career Advice from Industry Professionals
So we asked them, a group of well-respected seasoned professionals about the best career advice they have ever heard, given, or received. Their answers and advice might surprise you, or maybe not. . .
Andy Brantley: There is only one person responsible for my career and my career path and that person is me. I can choose to blame my employer for a lack of focus on succession planning and professional development, but the bottom line is that my professional development and my career are my responsibility.
Sharlyn Lauby: Always be networking. I’m very grateful to the managers I had early in my career because they encouraged networking. Over the years, I’ve watched many professionals struggle because they viewed networking as this thing you do only when you need to find a job.
David Creelman: Use your network to search for a job, even the people who you think won’t be able to help.
Sue Meisinger: After college, I worked for a year as a legal secretary. I decided law was something I could do, so I applied to law school and got accepted. Money was an issue, so it meant I would have to work my way through, going at night if I went. I was worried that it would take 4 years going at night – as I told my mother “I’ll be 26 before I finish!” She paused a moment, and then very calmly said, “But Susan, you’ll be 26 whether you’re in law school or not. Why not make good use of the time?” I got the law degree. And while I never practiced law with a law firm, the credential opened many doors.
Joyce Maroney: I’ve written frequently about career advice for new graduates, balancing a career and motherhood, and general tips for managing your career. The best advice I ever received, though I haven’t always found it easy to follow, is to keep your career in its proper perspective within the larger context of your life. Only you can define and protect the work-life boundaries that work for you. If you can’t honor that balance in your current job situation, then it’s up to you to find one that will.
William Tincup: Best advice I was ever given… “never quit because of one jackass… most likely he/she is hated by everyone… just hold firm and let time heal that wound.”
Ruth Bramson: The best advice I ever received was to explore every opportunity. My opportunities have included meetings with interesting people or a chance to do some community service work or an interesting project in another part of the organization. Not every one of those resulted in a new job, but they were often the beginning of something great!
John Hollon: A manager told me, “you’ll find it is always better if you work as hard on your last day in a job as you do on your first.” That has always stuck with me, and I have found personally that you always feel better when you give your very best effort every day regardless of what tomorrow may bring. Even if you are departing soon, work each day as if you were brand new.
It’s Your Turn. Best Career Advice for Your Modern Workforce
In your career, what is the best piece of career advice ever given to you from a friend, mentor, or boss? What type of career advice do you have for those looking to switch jobs in this upcoming year?