What was the best piece of advice you received about advancing your Career?

Mike Folinas - Manager of Research Administration, University of Toronto


Have you ever had a mentor, coworker, family member or a motivational speaker give you some great career advice?  Whether you are well into your career or just starting off, we have all received advice along the way.  We asked our members to share some of this advice to help all of us as we advance in our careers.  We had some great responses that include many quotes, see below:

  • “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Mark Twain
  • Don’t be afraid to communicate your thoughts in meetings.We are not mind readers and great ideas come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Every person you meet is a potential contact for a new opportunity
  • Be curious, ask questions and never stop learning
  • "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller
  • Say “yes” to new tasks.This can be daunting, but it will help you learn and develop new skills
  • Be a lifelong learner. This can be for formal education (i.e. degrees, certificates, etc.) or informal (i.e. online videos, training manuals, etc.).This will allow you to be more flexible for the future.
  • Develop a network – this will help with questions you may run into in the future
  • “Be a team player”, working on a team means completing your tasks for the greater goal.
  • Take criticism and ‘feedback’ for what it is – a gift that you can choose to use
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “Use your network when you are stuck”
  • Get out of your comfort zone – try new things to develop new skills
  • "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas
  • Always ask? – What is the worst that can happen, they say no
  • Don’t give up on your idea – you may just need to refine it
  • "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton
  • Find something you enjoy doing.
  • If you commit, deliver – be dependable and reliable when it comes to tasks.
  • “Work smarter, not harder”
  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.” – Steve Jobs
  • "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison
  • "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

Great advice, I know I feel more confident.

Recommend a Resource: 

  1. One of our members recommends Steer Your Career: A Research Administrator's Manual for Mapping Success by Sarah Lampson & Katie Porter (2011).  This is an amazingly insightful book for Research Administrators at any stage in their career. https://www.amazon.ca/Steer-Your-Career-Research-Administrators-ebook/dp/B014WSZAQ4/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=sarah+lampson&qid=1603307743&sr=8-2
  2. One of our members recommends Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life by Patty Azzarello (2012).This book provides practical advice and insight that can be used in many sectors. https://www.amazon.ca/Rise-Practical-Advancing-Career-Standing/dp/1607742608/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=advancing+career&qid=1603308419&refinements=p_72%3A11192170011%2Cp_n_binding_browse-bin%3A2366374011&rnid=2366372011&s=books&sr=1-6