THE TOP 40 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED IN MY CAREER

Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times during his or her career, which means a good amount of your time is spent looking for the right fit. I’ve been fortunate to work for one company my whole career (which is a statistical phenomenon!). Recently, I was named one of the top 40 under 40 by InvestmentNews. Receiving this award got me thinking…, “how the heck did I get here!?” Was it luck or hard work? Thinking it through lead me to writing this article for you, sharing the 40 most important lessons I’ve learned along the way. I hope you’ll find these nuggets of wisdom helpful as you navigate through this crazy world.

Rules to Live By

1) Work harder than anyone else!

2) Don’t make assumptions about people.

3) Think positive, it breeds positivity.

4) Never stop learning.

5) Don’t take yourself too seriously.

6) Thank people who’ve helped you

7) Reply to messages quickly, even if you don’t have the answer yet.

8) If you work in a city, make time to be in nature.

9) As Steve Jobs said, “Stay foolish”. Don’t take life too seriously.

10) Give back. Helping others will fulfill you immensely.

Life Hacks

1) Avoid complacent people.

2) People buy optimism and integrity (but only when it’s genuine).

3) Reach the head through the heart.

4) Attitude sells.

5) People value, and pay more for, the way you make them feel.

6) Be ready to answer “what do you do.” Should be impressive, clear, quick and simple.

7) Be mindful of how people are likely to stereotype you.

8) Tell stories to convey how you can help someone.

9) Before you speak, pause. It shows that you’ve listened.

10) It’s not who you are, it’s who you appear to be.

Your Personal Brand and Image

1) Be very mindful of the words you use.

2) Exercise your body to improve your brain.

3) First impressions really do matter.

4) Start with little asks, building up to bigger asks.

5) Think of the problem someone is facing, so you can be the solution.

6) Eliminate ums and ah’s from your vocabulary.

7) Never say, “I’ll be honest…” It implies you’re not.

8) Never judge someone you’re trying to change.

9) Find balance between work/play. Too much of either isn’t sustainable.

10) Act as if the whole world is watching you.

How to Get Ahead

1) Find a mentor. We all need a coach.

2) Work on a team, the lone ranger is not what it’s cracked up to be.

3) Ask someone how they became successful. You’ll learn how to get ahead quickly.

4) Find pictures of the future you want and hang them on your wall.

5) Meditate regularly. It’ll give you super powers.

6) Surround yourself with smart people.

7) Ask your clients, “What can I do to be more effective?”

8) To strike a deal, first find common ground.

9) It takes at least 5 interactions before someone will refer you.

10) Say, “I really owe you,” when making an ask. Always follow through.

 

Fast Company once referred to millennials as “generation flux,” referring to how often they change jobs relative to other generations that have come before them. This means the amount of career turnover is likely to increase even more in the coming years. Whether you find your dream job immediately, or it takes you years to nail it down, remember these useful tips. They’ll serve you well no matter which road you end up traveling.

Let me know if you have any lessons I can benefit from too. I’m sure we can expand the list and share it around.

M