Time with Dave

I have been on somewhat of an opportunistic streak lately by meeting with older men who have been through a career and have some great advice to offer in hindsight. This time I had less of a one-on-one opportunity but one where I was able to sit in on an interview and glean some great advice.

Chase your passions

Most markedly, I took from this conversation that everyone is the same. There’s no difference between the man looking to start a career and the one looking back on a career except for the passage of time. The difference is found in the intentionality in which one acted. You have to make a choice to work and to enjoy your work. Happiness in a career therefore lives with the one who follows his passion. I have long since believed that your convictions will follow your talents & passion. Talents and passion go hand in hand with your purpose. Here are Dave’s bits of advice from 45 years of work.

  • Find somehting you’re passionate about and then find a way to do it.You spend so much time at a job that it shouldn’t be just a job, it should be a calling. And its not that difficult to do. You need to keep your eyes open and be opportunistic.
  • Look for ways to work with people. Especially people who can be helpful down the road. It’s not a [selfish act], its just how the game is played. Make yourself a person who is trusted. Again, always play it straight. If you don’t play it straight and someone find it out you will never be able to play that down. [Its about relationships]
  • Be helpful to people. Do favors with people congruent with your responsibilities… not because its (self seeking) but because its the right thing to do… They all have gotten paid back to me somehow.
  • You have to be ready to work hard. Never take for granted your are entitled. Always be looking for ways to affirmatively teach yourself new skills. Look for ways to merchandise those skills.
  • Study all of the appropriate access points to what you want to do. Find someone who can help you do that. Call on them. Ask them for help politely. And when the shoe is on the other foot be willing to help them.
  • Make an elevator pitch. 60 seconds or less. Stress test it. See what works and what doesn’t and be prepared to throw overboard what doesn’t work.
  • So why listen to an old man who has gone through a career for 45 years with the same company? Try this on for size from 1 Kings 20.

    Let not him who girds on his armor boast like him who takes it off.

    If those are not words to be lived by in terms of work I don’t know of any. This is exactly why House of Sticks was formed. We feel confident in our passion and calling because its what we are good at and what our hearts have to do.

    Read - Creative problem solving

Related Articles