A friend recently asked about the most impactful pieces of advice/perspectives I’ve received on careers. My top 3 were –
(1) Spend as much time thinking about who you want to be as you do thinking about what you want to do: Our career is a sub-system within our life – as are other sub-systems like health and relationships. There is no balance, only trade-offs. Make those trade-offs consciously.
(2) In the long run, the kind of work you do and exposure you get outside of your work will shape how you do your work: The books we read, the conversations we have, and the side projects we build all matter more than we often realize.
(3) Macro patience, micro speed: Replace setting goals with moving toward a direction, being “macro patient”/keeping a long term perspective, and doing everything we can to move as quickly as we can to learn and grow right now.
This one is especially powerful because of another powerful life idea – you never know if a good day is a good day in the moment. All we can do is keep plugging away and keep faith that good processes lead to good outcomes in the long run.
And they generally do.