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Career Advice I Never Forgot

I recently read a very good article by a guy named Steve Toback on how advice given by others helped shape his career. He outlined 10 pieces of advice he was given over the years.

It got me to thinking about my own life and career path. As I reflect, I have come to realize that a lot of advice I received early on was NEGATIVE but it actually pushed me to strive harder to achieve my goals.

Here are some of the things people have said to me over the years that stuck with me and helped play a role in the person I have become.

"If you think affirmative action is going to get you a job--you better think again and get your act together in the classroom!" Professor Ralph Izard Ohio University.

I do believe affirmative action got me my first job at WCIR Radio in Beckley, W. VA and affirmative action also allowed me to sue them for discrimination (and WIN!)

"You just don't have what it takes to make it in this market" Comment made by the late Bill Knowles, News Director of WCTI-TV.

The following week I was hired by the competition and stayed there 5 years, while being promoted to weekend fill-in anchor. I was given the opportunity to remind Mr. Knowles of his comment about a year before he died.

"If you get down on your luck, you can always come home again but just don't think about staying too long." My mother--Lillian Mahone.

"You're just watching yourself grow up." My mother AGAIN--commenting on my daughter's behavior when I called her to complain.

"You don't have to be asleep to dream." Mrs. Harriet Weaver--one of my high school speech coaches.

"You are so articulate." From various people throughout my young adulthood. Why wouldn't I be??? I was a speech and debate champion in high school and college.

"Your talent is God's gift to you. How well you develop it is your gift to God." I can't remember who shared this with me during my teens but I have never forgotten it and strive daily to give back.

"I tried it once. It didn't do anything for me" My dad's comments after finding a "joint" in my bedroom one weekend while I was home from college. That's all he ever said about it and I just thought he was the coolest dad after that.

"I hated my mother." Comments from ex husband. Should've been a red flag warning but I was thinking with my heart--not my head.

"Women who behave don't make history." Said to me by former news director, Rob Elmore, during an editorial meeting.

So what memorable comments have helped shaped you?


"The day I stop learning is the day I die". My grandmother said this to me when I was 14 years of age. I've remained curious, seeking, and constantly learning ever since.
Debra Stokes said…
"You can do anything you set your mind to do" My Mom, Eva Lightner Noye. She taught me that "setting your mind" means more than just thinking about a thing. It means putting into action those things that your mind conceive.
There has been so many. "If you see the problem, God gave you the solution." One of my mentors.

With Grace and Charm,
DebbieBarth said…
My last "boss" is someone for which I shall always hold the highest respect and admiration. He is a self-made man(his monetary wealth not relevant) and worked hard to get where he is now. One day he made a comment that I hadn't heard before. He said "the one with the gold rules". I'm going for the gold, lol.
Pam Archer said…
One of our closest friends to me said that I didn't have the body to sell exercise videos. I decided then and there that I would show him...I not only made 7 exercise videos, but as a result, made it to the top in the fitness industry, and on national TV for two years, representing Jenny Craig, Int'l, BECAUSE of my body!

There are many others that formed and "shaped" me. lol

Mother told me "Jesus is a friend who sticketh closer than a brother." Of course, that is a quote from the Bible, but in times when I felt I had few friends, this resounded in my soul.

My sister saying "If you won't tell on me, I won't tell on you." got me into trouble many a time.

Bev, you coach me even though you don't know it. You often inspire me to write my best blog posts!
Eileen Williams said…
I have received a number of great pieces of advice over the years. One that is particularly helpful for me is to do something that scares you a bit and forces you to grow. The more you meet these types of challenges the stronger and more confident you become.
I've also received some negative comments. And, when you learn to turn these to your advantage like you and Pam have done, these can be the greatest motivators of all. There is real power in the words: "I'll show them!"
Pat Montgomery said…
There have been so many, but right after we got married in 1996 my husband challenged me. He told me that I did not believe in myself enough and that I could see myself through his eyes I would know that I could do anything.
And so much has happened in my life since then; he truly rocked my world and helped make me a more fulfilled person.
Susan Adcox said…
I read something in a women's magazine when I was a young mother. It said that people who are always afraid of what might happen are really afraid that nothing will happen.

I'm a grandmother now, and I made sure that some things happened in my life! After all, as Helen Keller said, "Life is either a great adventure or nothing."

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