This is the best career advice I’ve ever read, via Josh Brown:
Make yourself useful to smart, successful people. That’s how you should spend the first ten years of your career.
Surround yourself with smart, successful people and then bet on them. That’s how you should spend the next ten years. And then you’re done, if you want to be done.
I talked to a friend’s college-aged kid the other day. He’s interested in a career in finance and wanted to know what to focus on now to do the work he thinks he wants to do later.
I told him to focus on relationships and networking. And credentials too, but over those, definitely relationships and networking, just like he’s doing now by reaching out to people like me.
Find a person, like a recent graduate, who is a few steps ahead of you and doing something you think is cool. Ride their coattails and/or get their input on what you’re doing.
Find an older person, a successful one your respect and admire in your field, and find a way to work with/for them. Make yourself useful and they’ll find a way to utilize you. Be creative.
As you progress, look for people to help who are behind you too. You’ll need them as you progress, just like you need to find people ahead of you now. Again, be creative.