The Best Career Advice Ever!
36 Great Pieces of Career Advice From Link Readers
Last month, we asked “What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you about work or your career?” We were overwhelmed with the quality of advice you shared. In fact, we believe these pearls of wisdom were so valuable that we decied to feature them in this month’s issue of Women’s Link. So here you go — 36 terrific pieces of advice from the Women’s Link community:
1. If you are always flexible, then you will never get bent out of shape! — Terry
2. Never turn down an opportunity to learn something new even if it means taking on additional work or something outside your normal job description. It makes you a more valuable employee, may give you opportunities for networking you would not otherwise have, and it will look good on any future résumé. — LaDonna
3. The best time to negotiate for a raise is before you accept the job! — Claire
4. People will rise and fall to the level of your expectation. Empower your people and you will benefit from that empowerment. — S.E.
5. An old boss of mine told me to always work myself out of a job. In other words share and teach others as much as you can. It will come back to you double-fold.
6. Never speak or write things in anger. Take a moment, cool down, and run your ideas by a person you trust and respect. — M.D.
7. ALWAYS leave your personal life at home when you go to work, and leave work out of your home life! This will make you far more successful at both. — Amy
8. “Don’t be your own worst enemy.” I guess it was apparent to one of my bosses that I was very hard on myself whenever I made a mistake, so this advice helped me recognize what I was doing and move forward. — Theresa
9. A woman I work with always says, "The show must go on." For us, in our business, it means that the customer must be served and served well no matter how bad you might be feeling or how chaotic it might be "behind the curtain." — Beth N.
10. "Be yourself — everyone else is taken" (Oscar Wilde) and "be an active listener.” Too many people talk too much and miss critical information. — Susan
11. You can't be all things to all people: Play to your strengths, know your weaknesses. Seek help in areas where you are challenged. — Pamela
12. Always be on time and ready to work at your scheduled time. Be willing to help others. — Kathy
13. Not everyone who treats you badly is your enemy; not everyone who treats you well is your friend. — Sue
14. Never write anything down you wouldn't want everyone else to read. — Julie
15. You are always on stage. People look to you and take their cues from you. Act professionally at ALL times, even when you think it is okay to be a little looser than normal. — C.M.
16. The best advice I ever received was at a diversity conference. The speaker told a story about an employee that had worked for the company for 20 years and was never promoted. The employee never missed a day and always did his work. But the employee gave 20 years of day one over and over again. The point is that time vested does not get you the promotion. I learned that you have to give more than the same day over again — you can't just show up, you need to show that you are eager to learn and do more than what is expected ... you need to show that you are promotable. — Kiwa
17. When I first became a manager 15 years ago, my CEO and mentor called me in his office and shared with me words of wisdom that have served me well. He said, "Take a good brutal look at yourself, assess your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have been honest with yourself, surround yourself with individuals that possess the traits where you are deficient. This is truly the secret to success.” — Starlet
18. "You don't have to like everyone you work with, but you DO have to work with them." — Janie
19. You cannot and should not change things overnight. Change starts with a well thought out plan. — Jennifer
20. Make sure that you have a network of family and friends. — Sandy
21. The accomplishment of big things is done by doing little things well! — Denise
22. Always maintain your ethics and integrity. Make decisions based on what is best for the customer and the company together. Then make all of your coworkers your customers. — Sue
23. Remember your value. We often don't give ourselves the credit we deserve. Toot your own horn and go for that promotion with confidence! — Joan
24. Bosses and jobs come and go but you have to live with yourself all your life. You have to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and go to sleep at night. Don't ever do anything that will compromise what you believe is right. Your ethics and values make you who you are." — Anonymous
25. "Do your best, be your best, but don't sacrifice yourself for a job." — T.L.B.
26. Persistence always wins! No matter what your job description or education level, there will always be challenges to conquer. Giving up is never an option. — Alleen
27. Never speak poorly of yourself or put your skills down in the workplace, someone will try to use it against you at a key moment to shake your confidence. — Kay
28. On their deathbed, no one wishes they spent more time at work. — Catherine
29. The best advice that I received about my career was from my mother: she would always tell me to learn everything I can about the field I am in, because the more that I knew the more valuable I would be. And she was absolutely right. Thanks mom! — Pauline Olden
30. The best advice I received was from a seasoned nurse who told me to calm down after making a medication error. She said, "Own the mistake and ask for help to fix it.” Mistakes happen. Learn from it and grow. Her guidance has served me well for some 40 years in nursing. — Donna S.
31. Treat each day as if it were your first day or your interview. You will always do your best. — Anonymous
32. When you make a mistake, the important thing is how fast you resolve it and make it better. It's not in the mistake itself, but how you handle the outcome! — Barbara
33. When I first obtained a management position, my boss told me to watch what I say because I was now in a position where people listen to me. I was surprised to think that people actually WOULD listen to me, but through the years I have come to understand the truth in this statement. We all need to be aware of what we say and whether they are positive statements or negative statements. — JoAnn
34. It’s the same 8 hours whether you enjoy it or not, so you might as well enjoy it. — Sophie
And 35 and 36 ...
First — treat everyone with respect, always.
Second, make your decisions based upon the next 5 years of your life, not the last 5 years. This focuses on your future and where you want to be and helps avoid emotionally based decisions.
Thanks to all the Women’s Link readers who contributed to our “great advice” list. Now tell us, which piece of advice was your favorite? Do you have any more advice you’d like to share with us? Now’s your chance ...
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Tone of voice is very important. People may never see you face to face, but your voice can say a lot about you. You can tell someone to 'drop dead' but if you say it with a good tone of voice, they think you have complimented them.
Through and Through all these thoughts geared towards our careers have been beneficial in one way or another and you can never get enough advice because it all involves helping each other as women. How inspiring and empowering.
One piece of advice that I learned from Mary Kay Ash is to treat every person I deal with that they have an invisible label of "Make me feel important."
I love #36 by Melissa that advice is priceless and I am glad she shared.
The best advice I ever received was to “sit at the table”. Meaning: people whose opinion mattered sat as equals at the decision-making table. Even if you are the lowest ranking person attending the meeting, if you were issued an invitation, you have a reason to be there. Sitting at the table gives you an equal voice with everyone else and your opinion is heard.
If you sit in the back of the room, you will be treated as if you belong there.
Always treat coworkers with the same respect you expect, whether or not, they do the same.
"Be Yourself, no one can tell you are doing it wrong.
I learned from a former coworker to avoid making judgements about people based on what others say or how someone appears, but rather to get to know the person. If you lose the judgement, you may discover a gem in another person that you may never have discovered otherwise. I have found this to be true more often than not!
"Why build the road when all you have to do is drive on it?" When facing something new, look around at how other people have been successful at something similar. Learn from their experience. It can save you a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
"Be yourself as no one can say that you are doing it wrong"
"Always assume innocent intent". In other words, give the person that upsets you the benefit of the doubt. It will prevent you from jumping to wrong conclusions and avoid a lot of confrontations.
Teach people how to treat you. No one else will respect you if you don't respect yourself. This applies personally and professionally.
Never burn bridges. You never know when you'll need that bridge.
Number 15 and 24 say it all!
Number 2 was my favorite. During a staffing shortage, I had started to complain about being overworked and burdened due to be dumped on with additional tasks while others appeared to be foot loose and fancy free. However, I later got a promotion and realized due to the new skills I learned doing the additional work I became a top candidate for two job offers (both promotions). So I had my choice and accepted the one that would provide the greatest exposure and impact. CR
25. "Do your best, be your best, but don't sacrifice yourself for a job." is my favorite of these comments.
I am sacrificing myself for my job at this time. I feel like I'm doing the very best job possible, but my boss apparently does not agree. He has used what I say against me and I'm letting it get to me too much. I think it is time to move on and find someone who appreciates me and help make me feel better about myself again.
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