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How to Succeed in Your Career: Advice from the C-Suite Part 1

How To Succeed In Your Career: Advice From The C-Suite Part 1

Whether you’re just starting your career, smack dab in the middle of it, or thinking of pursing a new path, it’s nice to have some advice from people who have been there before. Facing the challenges. Fighting the fight. Figuring it out as they go.

Just like you.

Every month on the Talent Playbook Podcast, we interview C-level executives and business leaders to get their perspective on what it means to succeed – and what it takes to get there. We ask them, “What advice would you give to someone starting their career?”

Here are their answers. We hope you find some inspirational sparks to fuel you on your career journey!

Find your passion

“Find what your passion is. A lot of folks will worry about money and that they have to pay their bills, but if you’re passionate about what you’re doing – in love with it, and you work hard at it – the rest will take care of itself. Truly, find what you want to do and pursue that path. You’ve got to love what you do and who you’re with.”


Bill Streitberger,
Chief People Officer at CraftWorks Holdings

#1 Talent Playbook Podcast Live Series Premier


Take ownership!

“Solving problems and being a fixer is a critical skill set. When you’re in an organization and you see that there’s a problem, you can sit there and complain. You can tell your manager, you can whine about it, or you can say, ‘Hey, we need to fix this.’ Then own it and make it happen. The key thing is having that grit. Not taking the victim role and not waiting to be told.”


Carol Jenkins,
VP of Talent Effectiveness at Ryan, LLC.

#3 HR Innovation, Machine Learning, and Talent Trends


Build methodically

“Start small and go as slow as you can. If you’re thinking about quitting your job to start a business, like I did, work six months longer, and try to get it going to the point where you physically can’t work that other job anymore.

“When I was working at Wells Fargo, I was answering emails on my breaks, taking phone calls, and skipping lunch. Those are the kind of things you have to do in order to launch a successful business. It can be difficult sometimes, but I think that’s important. It’s something you really have to push yourself to do. There are a lot of people that get into business for the wrong reasons, and those businesses don’t work out.”

Sam Summers,

Entrepreneur and Owner of First Fleet Concerts
Co-Owner of UpDown Arcade Bars

#4 Stories and Lessons on Starting a Business


Overcome rejection

“The moment you realize you’re in a situation where you need a job, you’ve got to get over any fear of rejection. If you don’t put yourself out there, you aren’t going to get anything in return. It’s so important to keep muscling through and finding where you belong and finding your niche. Then, when you get there, give it your all.”


Julie Nelson,
President and Founder of Meeting Muse

#5 Street Smarts in Business


Find your strength

“I always tell people to find their strength. Often, they say, ‘Well, how do I do that?’ Next time you’re having lunch with your best friend, ask him or her this question, ‘What am I doing when I’m the happiest?’ because that gets you really close to your starting point. It’s the place where your gifts and talents meet what you value most.”


Tony Bridwell,
Chief People Officer at Ryan, LLC.

#6 Developing a Culture of Excellence 


Don’t go it alone

“When you’re early in your career, it’s really easy to think that you know everything and you already have your plan. But, I would say, reach out to somebody. Try to find a mentor. It doesn’t have to be one person, and you don’t have to take up their whole time, but having someone you can talk to that can give you some insight and help you think through things – so you can see more possibilities – will really set you up for success.”

Imo Udom, 

Founder and CEO of Wepow 
VP of Strategic Partnerships at OutMatch

#7 Investing in People to Transform Organizations


Keep learning

“You can count on your actual job function changing dozens of times, because that’s the nature of business. What we learn in college will eventually be replaced by new software, new technology, new whatever it is. Everything changes so fast, so we have to be continuous learners. That’s what the world needs and what the market is calling for. Even after you’ve been in business 15 years, you still have to learn new things.”


Joni Doolin
Chairwoman and founder of TDn2K 

#9 Transforming the Restaurant Industry


Interested in more career advice? Check out How to Succeed in Your Career: Advice from the C-Suite Part 2. In it, you’ll hear from a CEO at the top of the Inc. 5000, the CEO of an orchestra, and the only man to guide a bling climber to the top of Everest. All great people with great advice, and great outlooks on life.

Listen to more episodes of the Talent Playbook Podcast and subscribe on:


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