The Best Career Advice

LinkedIn used to have an Answers section where members could ask and answer each other’s questions on a wide variety of subjects. A couple of years ago, I decided to ask a question of my own, wanting to ask one that would not just make for interesting reading for me, but for anyone else reading it as well. So I asked “What is the best career advice you’ve received, and how has it impacted your career?” 

I’d like to share a few of my favorites. (NOTE: these are paraphrased into advice without some of the longer stories to make this blog post easier to read.)  

  • Always ask yourself “why” you think a design aspect is needed or wanted [context: architecture]. You’ll always have an answer to why you did what you did.
  • There never seems to be enough time to do it right, but there always seems to be time to do it over.
  • Yes, there is a custodian but that doesn’t mean you don’t pick up your own trash. I.e. Respect all support staff. You will crumble without them. With their support, glitches get fixed and situations get defused.
  • My job, no matter where I am, is to keep my boss’s boss off my boss’s back. This makes me think twice, from time to time, about the larger impact of tough decisions, and it often prompts me to ask a question or double-check something.
  • Always have a resume. I have never had to scramble to redo my resume. It’s a simple thing but it has led to another advantage; I feel more in control when changes happen and, for that matter, more in control of when to make a change myself.
  • Be careful of doing or pursing things simply because others think you should… because ultimately, you may need to defend those choices, alone. I ultimately chose the path less travelled. And, though my work evokes controversy, I can defend that work more quickly and sincerely.
  • If you come to me with a problem, then also come to me with a solution. I think – by keeping that thought in mind – I’ve been able to be part of the solution, rather than the problem.
  • Don’t chase money…chase greatness and the money will follow.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received, and how has it impacted you?