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How To Get Ahead, According To People At The Top Of Their Game

by Mehera Bonner
money & life

career advice for artists

Feeling a little adrift in your career? Not sure where to go next? In this world of the gig economy and creative side hustles, there’s no real roadmap for success. Sometimes, it’s best just to ask those who have come before you.

Fortunately, the people at the top of their game are frequently giving interviews that are loaded with great career advice.

Here’s a roundup of our favorite job tips from experts in every field –– including a newly graduated business school student! Whether you’re embarking on a new career or happy in your current one, we all need the occasional inspirational quote to get motivated. Check out the words of wisdom below so you’re ready to get serious about your next move.

Don’t View Your Career As A Ladder

“You will take lateral moves. You will change industries. What you’re looking for isn’t a title; it’s an experience and skill. Don’t fixate on the title or incremental improvements.” –– Pat Wadors, senior vice president of LinkedIn’s global talent organization

Education Should Be A Constant

“Stay flexible, and be willing to make learning a lifetime pursuit.” –– Dana Saporta, director of U.S. economics research at Credit Suisse Securities LLC in New York

Make Friends Along The Way

“Six years ago Fred Mossler had a friendship with a rep for a small brand. The brand’s contribution to our sales was insignificant, so going to a dinner with him during a shoe show, when there were hundreds of other brands there, didn’t make a lot of sense. But it was still something Fred prioritized, based on the friendship. A week after the dinner, Fred’s friend became president of a major brand we had been trying to get. If you’re focused on the friendship as its own reward, serendipitous stuff just happens. I know that sounds weird, but I can tell you for our 12 years of existence, it’s actually how a lot of stuff happens.” –– Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

career advice quote

Learn To Listen

“When I got a job with Andy Warhol where I was making $50 a week, I was happy to do that because I was in the world where I knew I would learn. Young people don’t know how to listen. You take it in and digest it. Being in the world of Andy Warhol, I felt very much respected, but I didn’t just go up to Andy and start talking with him. You have to respect your mentors and keep your nose to the grindstone and keep exploring your vision and your dreams. And if you have something, people can see it.” –– Andre Leon Talley contributing editor at Vogue

Your Opinion Matters

“Speak up, even when you don’t have a perfectly well thought-out comment. Speak up, voice your opinion, be able to defend it.”  –– Oneica Greaves, Harvard Business School class of 2015

Take Life As It Comes

“There is always more than one path to getting to where you want to go, and taking surprising turns can result in the most interesting career journeys. While you may already have your heart set on one specific area, I encourage you to be open to the unexpected. Consider what you can learn and discover by taking a role that isn’t exactly what you imagined for your first job. A first job in sales, for example, can be an incredible foundation for any field, from finance to marketing to human resources.” –– Donna Morris, SVP of people and places at Adobe

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Mehera Bonner

Mehera Bonner is a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two children.