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Volume 21 No. 38
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The best advice I’ve received for career development

Portia Archer: In track and field, coaches often tell athletes to “run your race.” The person sprinting the first 100 meters may be out front and it may appear that you’re losing. However, that person may expend all of their energy and talent in the first 100 meters and may not have the stamina or strength for the last 100 meters. Run your race, not someone else’s.

Kathy Beauregard: I’m a strong believer that nothing just ever happens. My future is not just a place I am going but a place I am creating. Learning how to lose/grow and to compete with passion, respect building relationships.

Carrie Brzezinski-Hsu: Don’t get caught up in everyone else’s narrative for you — write your own.

Alba Colon: Be determined to never give up and always keep an open mind to new ideas and opportunities.

Jen Cramer: Let it go. You can’t control how other people think, feel and act. However, you can control how you react and what you do in every situation.

Mary Ellen Curran: Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Janet Evans: Follow your gut.

Whitney Haslam Johnson: Be open to receiving feedback on my own performance, and then deliver real-time transparent feedback to others. I have learned so much from listening to my peers, managers and my team over the years. 

Jessica Holtz: Honesty is always the best policy.

Lynn Holzman: Find time to invest in your own ongoing professional development and learning.

Ashlee Huffman: Find people you trust, at all levels and stages in their careers, to teach you, guide you and give you honest feedback.

Michelle Johnson: Match my heart and mind to maximize the intrinsic value of my work.

Diane Karle: Pause.

Michelle Kennedy: Do what you love and contribute in a meaningful way; never limit yourself or stop asking questions.

Nona Lee: Always stay in your integrity, treat everyone with courtesy and respect, maintain a strong work ethic and always do your best.

Sandra Lopez: Never stop striving to become a better version of you.

Neera Mahajan Shetty: You need to have direction but also need to be open-minded to new opportunities when they come your way, even if you had never considered that path before.

Yvette Martinez-Rea: Just say yes. I would not be where I am if I had let every moment of doubt about what I was capable of or what I could accomplish stop me. I would have turned down incredible projects and roles that challenged and forced me to grow. 

Laila Mintas: I always received a lot of advice, but I learned to follow the feeling I have in my stomach.

Liz Moulton: To not be afraid to make changes. I am a loyalist at heart and so at times have hesitated to change firms or shift paths. But ultimately growth comes with change and discomfort.

Joanne Pasternack: To be a “helium hand” — when there is something that needs to be done, raise your hand. Step up and enthusiastically take on high-priority projects even if you perceive them as being outside the scope of your job description. Some of the best opportunities and learnings have resulted from the least-expected tasks. I have also been encouraged to be open and transparent in communications. Seek opinions, listen to those with different perspectives (really listen!) and solicit advance buy-in from stakeholders early and often. 

Lara Pitaro Wisch: Do not let perfect be the enemy of the good. We will make mistakes. Own the mistake, try to minimize its impact, take the time to reflect on and learn from it, endeavor not to repeat it and move on.

Hania Poole: Pay attention to who you work for. It makes a huge difference in your happiness level.

Jennifer Pope: Good things happen to good, hardworking people. Things just take time.

Lara Price: Maintain a “personal board of directors.” I’ve long believed that every executive, from student to C-level, should maintain what I call a “personal board of directors” that you trust with your most important career decisions.

Marianne Rotole: Work up. Get to understand the business of the business and always apply your role toward meeting organizational objectives rather than merely focusing on tasks.

Kristen Salvatore: Think about how you want to spend your time and look for jobs based on that, not on a title.

Constance Schwartz-Morini: When you f--- up, own it and work with your boss to fix it.

Morgan Shaw Parker: Accept criticism with grace (lesson learned from playing sports); always do good things for the right reasons (from my dad); and for heaven’s sake … SPEAK UP! (a wise female mentor).

Tracie Speca-Ventura: Make sure and love what you are doing each day. Working in the sports world guarantees you will have to put in more hours than anyone will ever imagine.

Sara Toussaint: Take the unconventional path because it builds knowledge and strengthens your ability to connect with others.

Cyndie Wang: Be your own champion and seek opportunities to grow.

Nichol Whiteman: Work hard and they will have to notice you.

Chie Chie Yard: Treat everyone along the way with respect. You never know who will be giving you opportunities in the future.