Every day brings its challenges—demanding tests of your abilities, resources, will, and character. These may be simple or seemingly insurmountable. Challenges will try you at school or work, or perhaps personally or emotionally. Challenges are nearly always opportunities to learn and grow if you look at them with open eyes and mind. Sometimes the opportunity of taking on a challenge is deeply hidden, or in the distant future—or will take effort and a level of grit and determination that you’ve never attempted before. Look for the opportunity in every challenge, success is there.
I read this article on career advice from Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and wanted to share a few excerpts from it along with my own paraphrasing of its central tenants. You can read/view the entire piece from the link.
Excellent Career Advice From LinkedIn’s Billionaire Founder Reid Hoffman
Three keys to getting the most out of whatever career you want to have.
Competition: A lot of people will want YOUR dream job. You need a competitive advantage, so you have to figure out and apply:
- Assets: What do you have going for you? brains, money (or access to it), network connections, education, experience, grit and perseverance?
- Aspirations: Where you MIGHT like to go in the future.
- Market Realities: What are people actually willing to pay you for?
Pursue worthy aspirations with your assets while navigating market realities.
How do you make a positive difference? Your assets (skills and connections) have value to those who don’t have them. Ask: “How can I help?” You’ll begin to understand other people’s needs. Fulfill those needs. Solve problems. Be willing to start at the bottom. Change the world.
Learn to proactively build networks to others. Every job requires interacting with people. People who control resources, opportunities, and information. Opportunities are attached to people. Seek out people who have the resources, opportunities, and information you want.
The people you spend time with will shape who are and who you will become. Hang out with those who are already the way you want to be. Yes, some of these people may be older than you. Don’t hold that against them. Experience has taught them the things that can help you navigate the hard market realities of the world.
Meet new people via those you already know. Your network is bigger than you think. Use it.
The education system penalizes you for making mistakes. But in reality, you don’t know what the best plan is until you try. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. You learn by doing. Look for opportunities to TRY. Ask: “How can I help?” Whatever the situation, actions, not plans, generate useful lessons.
Actions help you discover where you want to go and how to get there.
In school, the most successful students make the fewest mistakes. But the most successful professionals learn to take intelligent risks. In the real world, playing it safe is not stability, it is one of the riskiest things you can do.
Prioritize plans that offer the best chance at learning about yourself and the world. Do not dismiss a career path just because you’ve heard how risky it is.
If the worst case means getting fired, losing a little bit of time or money, or experiencing some discomfort, it is a risk you should be willing to take. If the worst case means tarnishing your reputation, loss of all of your economic assets, or something career-ending, don’t accept that risk.
There will always be uncertainty. The best opportunities often have the most question marks. Taking intelligent risks will help you find opportunities that others miss.
Develop your competitive advantage. Build your network. Take intelligent risks.
Start where you are. Distant fields always look greener, but opportunity lies right where you are. Take advantage of every opportunity of service.
— Robert Collier