How to Keep Learning and Other Career Lessons Learned


I love this woman’s three career lessons learned. She has learned a lot from her marketing and consulting career that has spanned turbulent times and many countries. She always stayed true to her ambition to make an impact and live an interesting life. She knows now that it is about getting to know what you want and then staying true to yourself. That is time well spent!


1. Follow your own dreams: The biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone starting out in their early twenties is to not worry about what other people expect you to do. You know yourself the best. Make the time to understand what drives you and motivates you and then follow that. Don’t pay any heed to what anybody else is saying should do because they probably don’t know a great deal about themselves. They just went out and did it. Take the time to understand and reflect on it. It’s not a reflective age.

2. The universe will change so much in the next twenty-year period. So all you can do is keep learning, keep acquiring skills. If you can, keep true to your own magnetic north. If your magnetic north is about title or about salary, fine. Just find what it is. If you care more about having impact or about a particular cause or about working with nice people, fine. So be it, accept it.

I always set out to learn where I think the next horizon will be. I learned about global and emerging markets before people cared about it.  I’ve learned about things like human capital and talent development before anybody cared about it. I keep trying to learn the next thing that I think will be important in the world. Not to be faddish but to make sure that my world view and my frame is kept up-to-date.

I’m constantly just getting lots of input from lots of different places. I read like a crazy person. I probably read a dozen books a week. I read 10, 12 magazines, newspapers. I’m constantly feeding the raw material into the hopper. I can’t even remember precisely what I’ve read but it all starts to throw off patterns and things that you see. You can’t be stale or passive if you’re doing that. There’s no way.

3. Business is irrational and the people that own businesses are not superior beings.These are humans. These are people who have limited attention spans, partial capabilities and egos… big, big egos. Spend timing learning relationship skills. The most important thing is to understand people’s motivations. You have to get at what they are really saying to understand what they want and how to communicate it to others. Sometimes you need to translate!

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