Getting ahead in your career can be tough. There are always new challenges and obstacles to overcome. But with the right advice, you can stay ahead of the curve and reach your goals. We asked 7 experts in their field what's the best career advice they received. Whether it's about work-life balance or taking risks, their advice will help you navigate your career confidently.
When you look at social media these days and see everyone's hustling, it can be hard not to be influenced and aim to do the same things. But our body and heart can only do so much. Remember this, rest and patience are also a part of work. Without these things, it's impossible to be productive. It's a lesson that Luciana Torous, a business owner, learned the hard way.
"Learn to prioritize your health - both mental and physical. When you feel good, you work better, make better choices, and come up with creative ways to solve problems. It's much easier to handle certain stressful situations that may come up when you are feeling your best. It's also easier to trust your intuition if things aren't going right."
- Luciana Torous, Owner of 3 Leaf Tea
I always say “go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.” When it comes to your career, don't stay because it's a safe bet. That's exactly how you get stuck and stop your growth. If it's too overwhelming to leave your current job, learn how to put yourself in a position where you'll be able to take on more risks. For example, having an emergency fund can help ease some anxieties. Yes, it's hard to think big when you're mentally and emotionally struggling at work. But this is precisely what you need to do to find what suits you best. April Frazier, a Confidence Coach, encourages you to think big and find out what could work for you.
"Leave. It wasn't advice as much as it was a call-to-action. I had been unhappy for many years doing a job that was not aligned with my strengths but I had stayed because the money was good and my life was comfortable. But, one morning I arose with a clear and undeniable intuitive impression that my mental health and my quality of life *depended* on leaving my 9-5 job and beginning anew."
- April Frazier, Confidence Coach from FRWD Coaching Group
It's easy to get wrapped up in your career and lose sight of what brings you joy. But taking a step back and remembering what you're passionate about can help re-energize you and reignite your love for what you do. When you get bogged down by the day-to-day grind, take a moment to remind yourself of what initially drew you to this career path. Recalling your earliest motivations can help pique your current flagging interest. This is what Antisha Walley did more than 10 years ago, and it's still helping her today.
"The best career advice I ever received was to be mindful of what brings me joy and try to find a career that allows me to do that. The point was that when you work in a profession where you love what you do it feels much less like work. Thankfully, I was able to find and do what I love and I continue to love it more than 10 years later."
- Antisha Walley, President and Founder of Make the Change, LLC
Careers rarely go according to plan. In fact, the best ones are always full of surprises. You may get laid off, start a family, and be in situations where "life happens." So don't be afraid to experiment. It's the only way to find out what you're truly capable of. Jill Ferguson, an expert in helping freelancers, learned this by trying to work on a variety of projects in a number of industries.
"Only you are the composite of all of your skills, experiences, interests, passions, and desires so only you can do what you do. Use those things to determine what services or products you can offer others and be willing to listen to the quiet voice inside of you regarding what path(s) you should take.
My career path has been anything but a straight line and I've never done only one thing. For example, I was a professor and higher ed administrator for 13 years, and that entire time I had flourishing side hustles. I've worked in a number of industries so I am uniquely qualified to work with different kinds of businesses and schools, lead all kinds of projects, and help others reach their goals. No one has the exact career path I've been on nor has the same mix of skills/experiences."
- Jill L. Ferguson, Founder & CEO of Creating the Freelance Career
One way to achieve success is to build a supportive network of people who can help you out. This means finding individuals who are willing to offer advice, collaborate, and participate in your success. Establishing these professional relationships takes time and effort, but it's worth it to have a group of people you can rely on. Rachel Cossar, a CEO, attributes most of her success to the strong relationships she has built with her network.
"In order to get help when you need it, you need to cultivate a village. This is a constant practice of sharing and giving that comes from the heart first. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, so too does it take a village to support a thriving career.
From my transitions from professional ballet to now running a tech firm, I have friends and mentors from all walks of life, who know me and my story. Every day I wake up to unknown waters (which is thrilling and exciting!) but also scary. My mentors and friends, my village, is there for me as a support system and none of it ever feels as lonely."
- Rachel Cossar, CEO of Virtual Sapiens
It's not easy to make a career change, but it's possible. Sometimes it's the only way to find true happiness in your work. Emily Aborn, an expert marketer, didn't start in this field exactly. She was stuck in jobs related to health education that were low-paying and unfulfilling. She managed to pivot by being an executive assistant to VPs and learning from them to do what she does best today.
"The best career advice that I ever received was to be open to pivoting into new spaces. This can mean different things for different people, but for me, it meant being open to exploring new industries and roles even if they didn't necessarily match my original career goals. I think it's so important to be open to change because you never know what might come up that could be a perfect fit for you. And who knows, maybe you'll end up finding more happiness in a new space than you ever did in your original career."
- Emily Aborn, Founder of She Built This
It's tough to let go of something you've put so much time and energy into, but sometimes it's the only way to move forward. Zeina Habib said goodbye to her previous line of work to focus on what she genuinely feels motivated to do, coaching.
"It is never too late to do what you are really passionate about and good at. We tend to see sunken costs as too important and hence keep going on a path we may not want. We forget we still have years to go doing the same thing over and over. Sometimes starting over or switching careers is totally worth it."
- Zeina Habib, Coach & Trainer from Voice Within
We hope you found these pieces of advice helpful as you navigate your career. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding success in your professional life - what works for someone else may not be the right fit for you. Be open to trying new things, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. With perseverance and some guidance from those who have gone before you, we know you can create a thriving career that brings you joy every day. What was your favorite piece of career advice?
This article was written in partnership with getWise - a technology platform that provides on-demand expert advice for small businesses and women to accelerate their business or career.