Saturday, June 28, 2014

Learn more, do more, be more

A few wise words from Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, about becoming successful:

What should I do with my life? How do I bring my different interests together into a career? Most freshly graduated youngsters are a bit lost about what to do and how to continue on with wise moves. Here's a secret - that feeling of uncertainess about the future will never really go away.
The world IS changing and there is no clear and safe way anymore to secure a career. It's of key importance to be able to adapt. For anything desirable there is competition - many people WANT your dream job. The idea is to create a competitive advantage.
Your assets are what you have going for you now (your brains, your funds, your connections etc), your aspirations are where you would like to go in the future, and the market realities are what people will actually pay you for.
You might think that just graduated from the university and with no real work experience, you don't have much to offer to the world yet, that you can't make a real positive diference. Guess what - you'll be surprised how valuable your existing skills and connections are to those who don't have them.
Just ask others: "How can I help", and learn to understand other people's needs.
Learn to interact with people - in the end they control opportunities, resources and funds. 
In other words - if you are looking for an oportunity, you are really looking for a person.
It's quite likely that someone you know, already knows someone who could help you.
The people you spend time with shape who you are..
...and who you will become! The fastest way to change yourself 
is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.

Making mistakes is part of the learning process. You won't learn until you have tried!
If you want to start with something, maybe it would be a good idea to start interning with someone you admire, make connections, and see what happens. Offer to help out for free. Actions are what will get you somewhere, not planning.
In college, the most successful students make the fewest mistakes. But the most successful professionals learn to take intelligent risks. Ironically, in the hectic modern world, the biggest risk you can take is trying to play it safe with your career choice. There is always going to be some uncertainity and that's normal!
Don't dismiss a career path just because you keep hearing how risky it is - precisely for those beliefs these paths have less competition. Often the best oportunities are those with the most question marks.
Though two things you should never risk - losing all your economic assets or permanently damaging your reputation. And, rather value a chance to learn something important to a chance to get instant high salary.
Graduation is not the end of learing, we are always works-in-progress. In the world of work, every day is exam day. If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. And the worst you can do, is not move at all! So start moving. Now!

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