Top Career Advice for Teens from Highly Successful People

Top Career Advice for Teens from Highly Successful People

There’s a lot of career advice around for teens, and it can be a little overwhelming. One of the best ways to decide which advice to follow is by looking at the careers of those offering it.

Here is some great (and surprising) career advice from highly successful people.

Embrace setbacks and failure 

Everyone experiences setbacks on their career path. This might involve not getting into the course you want or choosing the wrong path. We’re taught to see setbacks as failures, and for many this can be debilitating. 

Highly successful people are defined by their resilience. Instead of feeling bad about setbacks, they look at them as learning opportunities. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, demonstrated this when he said in an interview that “a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.” Instead of dwelling on failure, Branson said he puts his energy into a new project. 

J.K Rowling, best-selling author of the Harry Potter series and one the world’s richest women, echoed this in an interview. She said that failing is inevitable, and that she considered the difficult times in her life a “gift” which allowed her to learn about herself. In a video for her self-titled album, Beyonce pointed out that no one is too good, too big or too smart to lose, and that when it happens “you have to embrace those things.”

Do what you love

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is an advocate of doing what makes you happy rather striving for wealth and success. In an interview with the Telegraph, he claimed that what really matters is that you’ve had an interesting, fulfilling life and “contributed in some way to the world around you.”

This view of career success was shared by Apple cofounder Steve Jobs who believed that following your passion is vital, and that everyone should also aim to give something back and help their community. In an interview at Yale, Lady Gaga stated that when she turned her focus from making money back to creativity, “slowly but surely, I remembered who I am.”  

Be flexible and adaptable 

Stewart Butterfield, chief executive of Slack and cofounder of Flickr, believes young people put too much pressure on themselves to know exactly what they want to do with their lives. Speaking with The New York Times, he advised that this was a time for figuring things out, and he wanted to see young people adopt a more “experimental attitude.”

In a LinkedIn post, author Deepak Chopra also advises people to “embrace the wisdom of uncertainty.” He wishes he’d learned this at a younger age when starting out in his own career, because “only from the unknown can life be renewed constantly.” Considering the rapid pace of change today, this is solid advice. 

Don’t work too hard

Arianna Huffington is the cofounder of The Huffington Post, and CEO of Thrive Global. She revealed in a LinkedIn post that she’s frequently asked if young people should devote all their time and energy to establishing careers. She wrote that she couldn’t disagree more with this sentiment. “For far too long, we have been operating under a collective delusion that burning out is the necessary price for achieving success.”

Instead, she advises that “unplugging, recharging, and renewing yourself,” are very important. This is great advice because burn-out will not only make you feel terrible, it also prevents you from performing at your best.