Excelling in Your Career

1. I first heard Zig Ziglar say it when people challenged him on his “positive attitude” manifesto: “You can do anything with a positive attitude better than you can do it with a negative one.” Lea McLeod , Career Coach

2. Work hard and be nice to people. It’s a very simple motto I try to live by daily. Marie Burns , Recruiting Leader at Compete

3. There’s never going to be a precisely right moment to speak, share an idea, or take a chance. Just take the moment—don’t let thoughts like “I don’t feel like I’m ready” get in the way. Look to see if you have the main things or the opportunity will pass you by. Don’t let perfect get in the way of really, really good. Kathleen Tierney , Executive Vice President and COO of Chubb Insurance

4. “Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.” Eric Schmidt , Executive Chairman of Google

5. No matter what your dream job is, you’ll likely hear “no” many times before you achieve your goals. Just accept that as a fact. But by refusing to accept that “no,” you’ll separate yourself from the pack. Sometimes you just have to outlast the competition—and wear down your boss! Shannon Bream , Supreme Court Correspondent at FOX

6. Tenacity and persistence—nothing beats it. Even if your talent isn’t there yet, you can always develop it to what it will eventually be. But people who are persistent and tenacious and driven and have a really clear, defined goal of what they want, nothing compares to that. Not giving up is really huge. Catt Sadler , Anchor at E!

7. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. No one got to where they are today without help along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask, and then remember to return the favor. Elliott Bell , Director of Marketing of The Muse

8. Even if you aren’t feeling totally sure of yourself and your abilities, it’s important you present yourself otherwise. That means shifting your body language to portray confidence. So, while you may be so nervous before your big interview or meeting that you want to curl into a ball, resist the temptation to cower or make yourself smaller, and walk in with your head held high. Michele Hoos , Writer

9. My advice for everyone in the industry is to find a mentor and to be a mentor. You’ll learn a great deal from both of these experiences, and make sure to leverage these roles for networking. Ask your mentor for introductions, and introduce the person that you’re mentoring to others—both will increase your visibility in the industry. Mariela McIlwraith , President at Meeting Change

10. I live by the 80/20 rule. 80% of the impact can be done with 20% of the work. It’s the last 20% that takes up the most time. Know when to stop, and when things are close enough. Alex Cavoulacos , COO at The Muse

11. Having a strong network adds to your value as an employee. In other words, the more people I can reach out to for help, the more valuable I am. Hannah Morgan , Founder of Career Sherpa

12. Do what you say you’re going to do. Danielle LaPorte , Entrepreneur

13. One of the most important things I’ve found is the importance of playing to your strengths. I think it’s common for us to learn while in school that if you get an A+ in writing and a C- in math, that you should focus your time and attention to getting better at math. In the working world I find it to be the opposite; by putting your focus on those things that you are strongest at, over time you will become an expert at it. By outsourcing your weaknesses to others who excel in those areas, you’ll be able cover those weaknesses better than you could have otherwise. Trying to be great at everything could be spreading yourself thin and keeping you from reaching your full potential in your strongest areas. Ryan Kahn , Career Coach

Career Advice

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