Navigating through today’s workforce can be stressful and frustrating if you’re trying to do it alone, so sometimes it’s nice to get advice from seasoned professionals. Therefore, I wanted to share seven insights from seven respected professionals, whose advice I greatly value and think you will too.
The following statements were given in response to; “What advice would you like to give rising professionals in today’s workforce?”
“I became a corporate comedian after years of working in market research, thanks in part to Kate Wendleton’s “Seven Stories” exercise. Read her book and follow the plan — it will help you discover the career that will give you the most joy. Seek advice often from friends and mentors. Listen more than you speak. Make sure you’re known in your industry for your integrity, competence, and most importantly, for responding to conflict with grace.”
Tim Washer, Senior Manager, Social Media, Cisco
“If you’re in the work force right now, you’re in a great position because jobs are so competitive. If you want to stay there, my advice is simple: always do more than what is asked of you. The best professionals are reinventing themselves by learning new things and experimenting with novel methods to be better at what they do. That way, you’re never stale, and even better yet, you’re never bored. Your employers will know it.”
Aaron Quinn, Associate Professor, CSU, Chico
“The best advice I can give to ‘rising professionals’ is to keep an open mind about the kind of work you want to do and the kind of company you’d like to work for. It’s a big world out there and there are companies doing things and serving people in ways you’ve never heard of. Explore and experiment. When you’re starting out, you may think you know what you want to do, but it’s quite possible that there is a role at a company you never heard of that would actually be perfect for you!”
Matt T. Grant, Managing Editor, MarketingProfs
It sounds cliché, but hard work and dedication today will pay off in the future. Sometimes you may question why you’re the one tasked with menial tasks, but you’ll look up in five years and you’ll be training a team on how to do the same tasks. And good bosses will recognize you going the extra mile.
Amos Snead, Principal, Story Partners
“If you’re a PR pro, and you want a seat at the table where big decisions are made, you must understand the basics of business — how does your company make money and lose it, how do the basic accounting formulas work, how do you read a stock market report and link it to your company’s industry. Then you can start to understand how to link your PR efforts to the company’s bottom line.”
Debra Johnson, Professional-in-Residence, CSU, Chico
“Set yourself apart from everyone else and do at least one thing really well that makes you unique and indispensable to your company. In other words, become an expert with at least one skill that is essential for your job and/or improves the image of your company in some way. Note: Your expert skill doesn’t necessarily need to be related to the technical aspects or required responsibilities of the job. For example: You could become an expert in conflict resolution; [PowerPoint]; graphic design; [Photoshop]; writing; public speaking; or just someone that’s extremely dependable, never abuses privileges, and always gets the job done on time.”
Rich Casale, District Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
“Today’s work environment has become very complicated and sophisticated for the aspiring employee. Laws, technology and fierce competition for each position enhances the challenge. First and foremost, remain true to yourself. Have a clear idea of who you are, and where you are headed. Place preparation at the top of your “to do” list. Never undervalue or compromise your values, integrity or work ethic. Stay grounded, work hard and be a friend to all – regardless of their title. When you are hired, never forget that the most important product you are selling is yourself. Finally, smile each day, and enjoy what you do.
Dave Baldwin, Professor, Cal Lutheran University
What was your favorite piece of advice?