When you think of the world’s most successful people, you don’t often think about the struggles they faced before they got their big break. It’s understandable, then, that young professionals can get frustrated when they don’t experience instant career success.
The truth is, everyone who’s made a name for themselves has experienced opposition at some point in their career. Follow this career advice and set yourself up for success.
Moritz: Following Your Instincts Requires Work
“‘Follow your instincts’ shouldn’t be confused with ‘trust your gut,’ ‘ignore reality,’ ‘rely on your sniffer’ or ‘go for glory.’ The rough translation is ‘do your homework well, analyze things carefully, assess the options but eventually trust your judgment and have the courage of your convictions – even if they are unpopular.”
Aside from serving as the Chairman of Sequoia Capital, billionaire Michael Moritz sits on several boards, including those of LinkedIn and Gamefly. The venture capitalist holds a spot on several Forbes lists and has worked with some of the most prominent companies in the technology field, including Google and YouTube.
Moritz’s advice explains how the former Time journalist became one of the most well known venture capitalists in the industry. When you’re facing a difficult career decision, don’t think only about what you should do. Instead, evaluate your options so that you know the benefits and consequences of each. Making sure you have all the information will keep you from making an impulsive decision that you’ll later regret.
Smith: You Won’t Find the Perfect Job Right Away
“He [my dad] advised me that choosing the right job was not a sudden lightning bolt of realization, nor was it for most of us something we knew we wanted to do since we were kids (oh, how I envied those kids). Rather, it was a process of trial and error – a voyage of discovery.”
It took Brad Smith just five years to become Intuit’s president and CEO, but he held several other positions in the company on his rise to the top. He realized that, while his ideal job wasn’t available right then, working with the company in another area would improve his chances being chosen when the position became available.
Applying for your first job after college can be frustrating, especially if the only open positions you can find aren’t really what you want. Rather than holding out for your dream job (and moving back in with mom and dad), accept a job that gives you the opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally.
Huffington: Decide on Your Own Definition of Success
“Money and power by themselves are a two legged stool — you can balance on them for a while, but eventually you’re going to topple over. And more and more people, very successful people, are toppling over. Basically, success the way we’ve defined it is no longer sustainable. It’s no longer sustainable for human beings or for societies.”
Born in Greece, Arianna Huffington attended the University of Cambridge and lived in London before moving to America. She’s authored more than a dozen books and is the president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.
In her 2013 commencement address at Smith College, the media mogul explained that working only for a paycheck might benefit your bank account, but it will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Instead of choosing a college major or job based on the average salary, find something that really makes you happy. Success comes not from money and power, but from using your talents to make a difference.