Lately I’ve read and seen a bunch of articles an interviews regarding career paths and how to get where you want to be. Through the several I enjoyed the most I offer you the top 5 lessons I walked away with.
1. Be a Beta
I think the best piece of advice I heard from an interview with LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman was to be a beta. Beta is essentially the rough draft version of a new technology, a work in progress if you will. Hoffman asserts that you should present yourself as a beta to employers because it means you are adaptable and being able to adapt in a ceaselessly changing workforce is invaluable.
2. Truly Educate Yourself
Scott Adams points out in an article that experience is what a true education is. You can go to class all you want but most of your learning will come from hands on, tangible experiences. These experiences will be applicable to countless future situations. The more experience you get, the better your chances are of being hired and the better you will look to future employers. Also a true education will just increase your value to a company.
3. Learn to Read Everything
I liked this point given by Nate Silver. Recently, I’ve begun reading a ton of online articles from various sources. Being a well-informed citizen is fantastic. Especially with news rapidly flowing every second, it is important to be reading. Reading is fundamental to understanding what is going on, on the micro level as well as the macro. Read. Read. Read.
4. Being an Entrepreneur
This insight also comes from Nate Silver. Basically, what he is saying is that you should be considering yourself as a brand. In everything you do, you should be aware of its marketing potential and the effects of your competition. Being an entrepreneur effectively allows you to maintain a diligent eye on any opportunities as well as giving you a slight edge above the competition.
5. Structure is Organic
This comes from an interview with John McPhee. When asked about structure he says that it is something organic, it grows from the work you do, in his case the words he writes. When it comes to a career, I interpret this as structure being your career. The work you do shapes what your career is and how it will be defined. As you grow and your work progresses, so does the structure – your career.