Taylor Made: A word of advice
In the spirit of career fairs, I have gathered career advice from several successful people and well-known people.
Redbox founder and former CEO Gregg Kaplan sent his son an email detailing advice he wished he had known before his first job. One thought that we don’t hear as often came at the end of the list, when he told his son to remember that a career lasts a long time, making it necessary to consider the long term. (Read the full email here)
“Now is the time to learn, to absorb, to create relationships, and to build credibility,” Kaplan said. "All the cool things you want to do now will come— just be patient.”
In response to a question on an online forum regarding life advice, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said she would tell her younger self, “There is no straight path to where you are going.” Sandberg referenced Fortune Magazine assistant managing editor Pattie Sellers’s quote, “A career is a jungle gym, not a ladder.” (Read Sandberg’s full answer here).
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has many memorable quotes, but one especially helpful in starting a career is, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” It is important to always hold yourself to your best standards, even in jobs or positions that you don’t think are very significant.
Clint Eastwood, an actor, director/producer, and composer who has starred in 42 movies, stresses perseverance as a key to success. “If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead,” Eastwood said.
In his graduation speech at Vassar College in 2005, fellow actor Tom Hanks summed up his advice in a single word: “help.” “You will always be able to help,” Hanks said. “If we don’t help, it won’t get done.” This is a good reminder that while the career is your own, you are not isolated in it. Working with, getting help from, and helping others is going to be just as significant as helping yourself. (Read the full transcript here.)
General Motors CEO Mary Barra says life is too short to be wasted on things you don’t enjoy. “Do something you are passionate about, do something you love,” Barra said. “If you are doing something you are passionate about, you are just naturally going to succeed.”
MechSE lecturer Prof. Richard Keane echoes this sentiment. “Do something you like doing and be the best you can at it,” Keane said. “Do more than people expect you to do.” (Read Keane’s full article here).
And MechSE alum Oluwami Dosunmu-Ogunbi has some sage advice that comes from experience. “One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is don’t bite off more than you can chew,” Dosunmu-Ogunbi said. (Read about Dosunmu-Ogunbi’s accomplishments as a student here)