Are you interested in Business, Start-ups and Entrepreneurship? Here are 5 top career tips compiled from a bunch of Time4Coffee guests who work, or worked, in these fields and were asked to share the best career advice they’ve ever received:
- DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
Whether you’re applying for a job or launching a start-up, there will be people who doubt your ability or tell you it won’t happen. Alex Grodnik has never focused on the nay-sayers. “If you want to do something and you want to do it bad enough, then you can make it happen,” he says. Until recently, Grodnik was a co-founder at start-up, Payclub, a next generation banking platform for Gen Z. For Grodnik, those people who are telling you ‘no’ should be treated as minor distractions instead of insurmountable roadblocks. Treat them as an opportunity to work harder and smarter.
2 GO THE EXTRA MILE
Showing up to work isn’t enough to stand out as a professional. The same thing is true for just doing what you’re told to do and leaving it at that. Andrew Dana is the founder and co-owner of two D.C based award winning restaurants, Timber Pizza Company and the Call Your Mother Deli. Right after college, he had an internship in LA at an ad agency. But the CEO didn’t believe Dana really wanted to work there, and told him if he wanted to get a job offer “you should be the last person to leave and the first person here.” You need to go above and beyond and not just do what you’re asked to do. Aim to excel in what you produce and then take the next step. Ask how you can better support your team or supervisor and show your dedication to your work. In a competitive industry, hard work will help you break through and succeed.
- NETWORK AGGRESSIVELY & OFFER YOUR HELP
As a volunteer at the SOCAP conference in San Francisco, a number of years ago, Christina Lukeman researched all the attendees ahead of time and reached out to everyone who had the title of her dream job. Lukeman, who is currently the senior business development manager at MCE Social Capital, sent messages to all these people and requested a brief meeting to discuss how she could support them in any way. “Leveraging networks and listening to podcasts, like Time4Coffee is a really great way to learn about positions. Then you can start reaching out to different networks of people and asking how you can get involved and support them and then maybe move into their job one day,” she said. One of the people she got in contact with ended up hiring her. It can seem like a daunting task to reach out to professionals, especially people you don’t know, but the worst that can happen is you don’t get a response, and that’s okay!
- GIVE YOUR JOB YOUR ALL
Daniel Sieberg was the CEO and founder of iO Enterprises. As a child, he had many different aspirations, from becoming a firefighter to a psychologist. His mom told him, “Danny, it doesn’t matter if you are a garbage collector, just be the best garbage collector you can be.” The profession or job title shouldn’t determine how much effort you put into that job. Apply yourself as best as you can regardless if you’re doing an unpaid internship, an entry-level job or you’ve already secured your dream job. As someone who has worked in horse stables and McDonald’s, he says no matter the job, there is always something valuable to be learned.
- SIT BACK AND OBSERVE
In your first year at a job, taking the time to really observe your surroundings can give you invaluable insight into your company and its workflow. Shortly after graduating from college, David Placek, Founder and President of Lexicon Branding, got a job working on Capitol Hill. During a lunch he had with his boss’s boss this is the advice he got. “For the next year, listen to your boss, do what you’re told and keep quiet,” he told Placek. “After a year you can start talking. But for right now, just observe and learn. And you’ll do really well here.” Before you try to wow your colleagues with your insights – especially in those early months, you’ll learn a lot more by just watching and listening to them than they will listening to you.
If you want to hear more career advice from these professionals or learn more about their jobs and professional journeys, visit the Time4Coffee website to listen to their episodes or read their transcripts.