8 Brilliant Career Tips for the Class of 2013! - Blog

Graduation – the time of year when words from Yeats to Churchill to Jobs are sprinkled throughout commencement speeches. Friends huddle to strike a pose for pictures to be curated in a Facebook album and cleared for immediate Twitter circulation. Also gathering are cynics, who like uninvited ragweed pollen, irritate with predictable claims of naiveté and unpreparedness of the graduating class.

Rather than criticism we offer the Class of 2013 our gratitude and insights. In the face of daunting job statistics and a volatile economy, as you stand to mark your seminal achievement, we thank you for giving us that most treasured gift…hope. Eight (8) original, light-hearted, insights distilled from a quixotic mixture of leadership, technology and business authors from recent years follow.


1. Impress Yourself First

America’s first African-American Sergeant Major Al McMichael in his book “Leadership” recalls a simple but powerful rule: impress yourself first. Not your parents, not the professors nor your boss – but the person to impress first is yourself. No one else’s standards should be higher than your own.







2. Find Value in Investing Your Time & Resource

Hedge fund manager and education reformer Whitney Tilson’srecently penned book “The Art of Value Investing” has a thread that is as relevant for alternative investors as it is for college grads: your time is a valuable resource, invest wisely. Sift through friends and experiences and invest your time with as critical an eye as any investment in dollars.






3. Stay Hungry

The late Steve Jobs’ memoir and Stanford commencement address imploring the grads “to stay hungry” remains timeless. Desire comes before success.

4. Global-Minded Flexibility is an Asset

London Business School professor Lynda Gratton argues that the dis-intermediate professional is the future of work and calls for young professionals to be flexible to navigate this new world of work. An international perspective plus being adaptable in location will expand your job opportunities.







5. Later in Life, Asking A Friend: “Can You Bail Me Out?” Will Be At a Whole Different Level

Deep in the creases of Sorkin’s instant classic “Too Big To Fail” lies a kernel of truth: you never know when you will need or have the opportunity to provide help. Keep in touch with your classmates. For Goldman Sachs’ alumni, it worked out pretty well in the 2008 Financial Crisis.






6. Disruptive – Innovation is Healthy

Harvard Business School’s father of “Disruptive Innovation theory, Clay Christensen has a central theme recurring in his many books, e.g. “Innovator’s Prescription”: success can breed complacency and creates the opportunity for new entrants to innovate. Go outside of the norms and re-frame the opportunity for greater insight. Be disruptive!



7. Love Can Be as Beautiful as it can be as Cruel

Heidi Klum is a living testament to the beauty and cruelty of love. Author, model, fashion business magnate and a celebrated marriage to singer Seal, Heidi seemed to have it all. Her subsequent divorce proceedings have turned ugly – unfortunate, but certainly not uncommon. The lesson: who you marry can be the biggest business decision you make. Have the courage to love but choose your partner carefully.

A certain Princeton alumna would put it even more bluntly.




8. Live Strong – Live TRUE

Living a lie is never easy. Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France “winner”*and author of “Every Second Counts”, witnessed his reputation destroyed by his eventual confession of using steroids. As you leave campus, expectations are going to be hard to fulfill. Rather than living strong or shouting YOLO (You Only Live Once), consider living perpetually in the truth of your moment… of your journey... of your life. Grow & Lead.