Einstein was such a great source of inspiration for career success tips that I could not fit everything into one post, so here is the second and final installment. Note: Einstein passed on 50+ years ago, but his words of wisdom are just as relevant now as they were then. Some things are timeless.
- If someone can enjoy marching to music in rank and file, I can feel only contempt for him; he has received his large brain by mistake, a spinal cord would have been enough. The phrase “think outside the box” has been done to death, but that’s basically what Einstein is referring to here. If you don’t distinguish yourself from others who do what you do–show how you are better, more innovative, and so on–you aren’t using your thinking-power to full advantage.
- When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about. Focusing heavily or almost entirely on yourself might fool you into thinking that’s the most important aspect of your career success. However, if you make that the key point of your career management or job search and don’t take other potentially important factors into account, you could miss opportunities to make a valuable contribution to something greater than yourself.
- In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. When your career path is smooth and work is going without a hiccup (if that ever happens!), you might not see a lot of opportunities to excel. However, when you and/or your company are facing tough challenges, that’s the test that shows what you’re really made of and gives you a chance to shine. Make the most of that opportunity.
- Never underestimate your own ignorance. One of my favorite sayings from long ago was: “I’m not conceited, because conceit is a fault and I don’t have any.” If you assume you know more than you actually do or ignore signs in your job or career that suggest it would be a good idea to double-check what you “know,” you risk disaster. Accept that you might not know everything you need to know and take steps to increase your knowledge in key areas.
- When all think alike, no one thinks very much. Einstein is suggesting that you think for yourself and don’t just move in lockstep with others without considering whether that is the best thing to do. For instance, if innovation is a key concept in your career success, it’s imperative that you consider different ways of thinking–avoid the “but we’ve always done it that way…we’ve never done that before” mentality.
- Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. In life and in your career management, you can’t afford to run in place, much less fail to run at all, if you want to maximize your potential.
- The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving. Prospective employers will be looking hardest at what you can do for (give to) them and much less (if at all) at what they can do for you. Your strongest selling point is based on the value you can bring to employers.
- It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Of course, Einstein actually was that smart, but the point is that he refused to give up when faced with major challenges that stood in the way of achieving his goals. Your career success could hinge on possessing that same degree of determination.
“Bonus” Career Success Tip
Few people will care as much about your career success as you do. You don’t have to work on it alone, but you do need to lead the charge.