Career Advice I'd Give My Younger Self
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Cally Martin“Pursue internships in the city you want to live in.”
Cally Martin, 28, marketing specialist in Austin, Texas

“Whether you’re an undergrad or working toward a higher degree, making the transition from school to professional life has the same finish line: landing a great job. My goal was to move from central Michigan to Chicago after college graduation to do just that.

Internships, as we all know, are a great way to build your network and make connections. But instead of applying in Chicago, I took two local internships near my college out of convenience.

When I graduated, I had a ton of contacts and some viable job leads—in Michigan. This made moving to Chicago way more intimidating. I eventually made it to the Windy City a few years later (and have since moved on to Austin, a city I love), but I could have gone right away had I put some thought into my internships. Because I didn’t, I had a much tougher time finding a job I wanted.”

Glenn Phillips“Know your numbers.”
Glenn Phillips, 52, CEO of a real estate company and angel investor in Birmingham, Ala.

“When I launched a tech consulting firm in the early ’90s, I had my hands full with everything from R&D to marketing—so much so that I overlooked one key detail: really knowing my numbers, from projected revenue to monthly expenses.

This made it almost impossible to detect cash flow problems, which inevitably popped up. I eventually got my act together and started sticking to month-by-month financial budgeting and reporting plans.

Apparently the lesson hadn’t sunk in, though, because I made the same mistake years later when investing in a startup. In retrospect, their big-picture numbers—which they seriously overestimated—really weren’t robust enough for it to be a profitable investment, but I didn’t question it. They ended up going under—and taking my investment down with them.  

The experience taught me—the hard way—to know your numbers inside and out (no matter what your role).”

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