Yogi Berra Shares His Career Advice

Yankee great Yogi Berra passed last week; if you’d have asked him, here’s the career advice he’d give you…

“It ain’t over till it’s over”

We get excited at the prospect of a new job — interviews have been going great, your future boss is a charm, and the commute is even five minutes shorter! What a perfect opportunity!

But don’t take your eye off the ball until you’ve got the offer signed and accepted.

Too often, I’ve seen professionals declare victory prematurely, let their other interviews slip, and wind up with an unpleasant surprise when their favorite job goes to someone else.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

It’s important to know where you want to go in your career and what your trade-offs are: are you more focused on broad exposure or narrow specialist experience? Do you want to manage or be a subject matter expert? Work at an agency or at a company? Value scale over a family feel?

Many opportunities will present themselves to you over your career, and it’s easy to get distracted by the momentary glitter and flash of something new and exciting.

But no matter how new and exciting it is, if it’s not a job that lines up with your desires and values, you won’t be happy in it in the long run. Make sure you know where you’re going if you want to get there.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

And as long as you know where you’re going, you might not need to be so particular about the specific path you take to get there. Yogi was reputed to have uttered this line in reference to directions to his house –either turn on the cul-de-sac led to his home.

In the same way, if you have a good grounding, and a strong idea of where you’d ultimately like to end up, it might not be as important how and which way you get there.

Even temporary setbacks, in this view, are just a momentary diversion on the forking, winding path to your ultimate success.

“Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t go to yours.”

Friendships are mutual; you’ve got to do the unenjoyable favors if you expect others to be there in times of your need.

Reaching out to the recently axed former colleague, taking coffee with the eager intern from last summer, helping the former boss with the presentation in your area of specialization, all these paybacks ultimately pay off.

It is these small favors and urgent requests that are the building blocks of a long-standing supportive relationship. Be there for others.

“You can observe a lot by watching.”

Put Candy Crush down. Stop reading Twitter. Quit watching the game.

And just watch the people around you. In the office right now. What are they doing? Where are they going? Are they happy, sad, frightened, victorious, confused, triumphant, uncertain, or bold?

In meetings, take the time to look up from the agenda and your notes. Take a look at their faces and their expressions. Is there information available there that you can’t find on the printed page or backlit screen.

You can observe a lot by watching, indeed.

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

The Time Magazine, May 3rd 1982 cover inspired me to learn coding in 1982:

I’m pretty sure the math adds up, so from my calculations there are more transistors in one new iPhone 6S than were on the entire planet in 1982 when I read this article.

The pace of our tomorrows have only been accelerating, and the future is getting more and more different than our past. You can be certain of that in your life — how will you plan for it in your career?

“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

Dreaming a dream is wonderful. But without putting in the effort, you’ll never get to success.

Wanting to get to a new place in your career is a job in itself. It’s not fair or fortunate, but the more you realize that sometimes it takes 140% to get there, the sooner you’ll be on your own winning team.

Have a wonderful week in the search, Readers!

I’m rooting for you!