Three Keys to Career Success: Do What You Love, Keep Learning, Do More Than What Is Expected of You

Yesterday, I read a New York Times interview with Jay Walker, CEO of Walker Digital and Founder of Priceline. The final question was, “What career advice do you give to new college grads?”  Mr. Walker’s got my attention.  Check it out…

“The number 1 thing that young folks often misunderstand is that they use money as a scoring system for the desirability of the job, which is understandable when you graduate with $200,000 in college loans, and many people have other things to pay like bills or maintenance of a house or car, that’s why online loans are so attractive since they’re immediate, for example Simple Payday, a payday loan service in the Uk, allow a person to borrow any amount up to £1000 and have the money deposited on the same day.

“But the fact is that you’re going to do much better financially if you find a job where you love what you’re doing, even if you have to create the job yourself.

“The second think I tell them is you need to start learning.  They haven’t learned anything.  Most new graduates think they’re ready for their career, and they’re not.  They need to start with a clean sheet of paper.  They need to start reading more, not less.

“You’ve got all this stuff to learn, and by the way, you’ve got to learn it in a dozen fields, not just the one you’re working in, because it’s all about cross pollination. It’s all about taking good ideas in other areas and bringing it into your area.

“It’s all about adding value above your job description, not just doing your job.  You’ve got to exceed that by a substantial margin if you really want to get ahead.”

That’s some pretty blunt talk.  And it works for everybody, not just new college grads.  Let me summarize:  1) Find a job doing something you love.  2) Keep learning.  Learn deep in your field and broadly in others.  3) Do more than you’re expected to do.

I’ve followed this advice in my career and things have worked out pretty well.

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