Career Advice to Keep in Mind
November 3, 2016
Success is not a one-way street; rather, it’s a branching path, with forks all over, and each decision you make can either lead you to success, or trouble. Most times, we would feel lost, burnt out, disillusioned, and just plain sad about our jobs. When in doubt, check out these successful individuals that didn’t quit no matter what, and motivate yourself to get better!
1. “The most common way people give up their power, is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
Alice Walker, author of the Pulitzer-winning The Color Purple, was a fighter. She fought for civil rights at a time when racism was widespread, either with placard or with a pen. Even though she faced many challenges in her writing career, Walker refused to give up the fight. She succeeded, and got recognized for it!
Sometimes, you find yourself losing control over how your job is going. Maybe you were given a task that was too overwhelming for you, and you felt powerless to control it. But as Alice said, you’d best keep in mind that you’ll always have the power to keep going.
2. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
A man who led a country suffering through a horrific World War, Winston Churchill stood as an indomitable, stoic pillar against the German Wehrmacht. He was what kept London together through years of shelling; as an American visiting London in late 1940 observed, “Everywhere I went, people admired Churchill’s energy, his courage, and singleness of purpose. People said they didn’t know what Britain would have done without him.
There will be times in your career where you will have to deal with situations that are less-than-ideal for you, for any number of reasons. Yes, you will have a job you won’t like, somewhere down the road. But the idea is to just hunker down, wait for the worst of it to pass, and move on; just like the British.
3. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Henry Ford created the modern car. This motto, which sustained him ever since the inception of his “horseless carriage”, made him one of the most iconic engineers and entrepreneurs in the history of modern transport. Ford embodied that sentence; there are many times when he almost believed that he couldn’t… until he did.
No task is insurmountable. Everything, no matter how bad it looks, has a method through it. Whenever you feel like a task is too hard to accomplish, or if you’re about to make a huge move for your career; step back, breathe, and figure out a way on how you can.
4. “Embrace failure.” – J.K. Rowling
We’ve all heard the story of how J.K. Rowling wrote the first few chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosophers’ Stone on pieces of scrap, and finished the first draft of the book while struggling with making ends meet, being a single mom. She sent it to various publishers around the UK, being turned down each time until one took a chance on her book… and look how it turned out.
Failure will be a constant part of your career growth. It can be hard to accept your shortcomings in the beginning. Coming to terms with knowing where, how, and why you failed is the key to growth. Had Rowling given up after the first few failures, would we have ever grown up with The Boy Who Lived? Embrace your failures and make yourself stronger!
5. “Don’t just follow your passion, but something larger than yourself.” – Steve Jobs
This man in a black turtleneck changed the way we look at our modern world. Most of the handheld conveniences we use daily derive in a lot of ways from this man’s thinking. To Jobs, making the world a better, more connected place was his purpose—and everything he did pointed towards realizing that goal. There are many stories about him, from his perfectionism, how he thinks of his users first in every aspect of design in all his products… much can be learned from Steve Jobs, who followed something way larger than himself: the future.
Passion is an essential part of our lives; it’s what keeps us grounded, driven, and hungry for more. But passion is wasted unless it helps those around you. Pursue something for the greater good, and find a way to align your passions with it, in both your career and personal life.
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