No matter what your current situation is, from college freshman to recent graduate, it’s important to network and seek advice. The professionals that are already in your respective industries have seen it all. But how did they get to where they are? Hard work and guidance from their own mentors.
I asked six women in different industries what the best career advice they ever received was so you don’t have to. Here are their answers:
Taylor Smith is a 25-year-old creative currently based in Los Angeles. She is always looking for new ways to tell stories across cultures and platforms. In this present moment, she is developing her own passion projects while also collaborating, writing, directing and producing for Refinery29.
“The best career advice I’ve received was when I was just starting out as an intern at Viacom. One of my first bosses would tell me to always stay buttoned up. Meaning, always be early, always ask questions to gain a better understanding, remain engaged and be a proactive problem solver. Essentially: know your stuff. Ever since the summer I received that advice I’ve strived to be a more polished professional, always on top of shifts in my industry and finding ways to be an asset to whatever team I’m a part of.”
Activate, previously known as Bloglovin’
Morgan Kaye is VP of Studio & SaaS Strategy at ACTIVATE f.k.a Bloglovin’. She has been actively working with influencers for the last 10 years and is extremely passionate about this quickly evolving digital landscape. Prior to joining the Activate team, Morgan held similar responsibilities at Mode Media, as well as at more traditional media companies such as Viacom and Dreamworks. She is also the VP of WIIM (Women in Influencer Marketing) – an exclusive networking group for women who are making a name for themselves in the world of influencer marketing.
“The biggest piece of advice I would provide to new graduates entering the work-force is to find your passion and understand that finding that may take years to develop. Each of my many jobs throughout the years have allowed me to further develop my skillset, find my focus, and forge my own career path. Also, never accept a job you feel 100% confident with, you should aim for the job that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable — because what’s better than impressing yourself with your own capabilities and success?”
Jacque Aye is the Nigerian, Kansas born, Dallas dwelling creator of Adorned by Chi.
“The best advice I ever received was ‘the show must go on’. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when problems arise but mistakes, missteps, and things outside of your control happen all the time- it’s what you do after that matters.”
Soladay Olson: Marketing for Creatives
Heather Soladay Olson is a design industry advocate. From practicing graphic designer to marketer of creative services, her career has crossed the thresholds of design firms, ad agencies, corporate in-house groups, and sole proprietorships. Eager, ambitious, and driven, Heather’s passion extends beyond the workday to inclusivity, leadership, and mentor activities in our local and national design community.
“The best advice I’ve received is the actions I’ve observed in the mentors I revere…
- Exude optimism, seek perfection, and do the unexpected.
- Volunteer, network, and cultivate camaraderie.
- Be genuine and generous in encouraging and elevating others.
- Take a chance and act with confidence.
- Practice humility, honesty, and humor.”
23 Stories, a division of Condé Nast
Alexa Jaccarino is the director of editorial programming for experiences at 23 Stories, a division of Condé Nast, which is a fancy way of saying she leads speaker booking and event programming for events like the Teen Vogue Summit series. She lives in New York City.
“Some of the best career advice I’ve received is to be a student of your industry. Go in to a job or to a job application process eager to learn as much as you can about the industry from whoever you encounter. People will appreciate this as a demonstration of ambition, and truly, there is always something new to learn anyway. Young people these days are amazingly confident and believe, rightfully, that they’re capable of whatever they set their minds to…but in a workplace environment it’s good to be a student, especially when you’re young or new. Be confident, but be a student, every day.”
28 years young and broke with expensive dreams, Jennifer (진주) is a Nigerian American who currently calls the city of Seoul, South Korea home. A lawyer turned writer and blogger, you can live the music she loves through Slay In Korea—her blog, brand, and budding business.
“The best career advice I’ve ever recieved was from Bill Stax (f.k.a Vasco): ‘Don’t chase money.'”