We likeThumbs Up for Career Advice! to brag about all the smart people we have working at SHIFT, so I thought, who better to tap into for some motivation than my fellow coworkers? I admire all of them, and I wanted to know what advice they’ve been given that has pushed them to succeed day in and day out.

Here are some tidbits of the best career advice we’ve ever been given. Save ‘em for a day where you need a little extra push.

“I think one of the best pieces of advice is the old boxing adage, ‘Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the face. Then it all goes out the window.’ The world isn’t black and white, and your plans will never go exactly the way you write them out. From the moment of “contact” – ask yourself: Where can you be flexible? Where should you hold your ground? This is a long-winded way of saying: don’t get stuck in thinking there is only having “one way” to do something.”
Matt Trocchio, Vice President

“It’s more about the solution than the problem. Problems always come up; partnering with people to create solutions always is a better approach than complaining.”
Derek Lyons, Vice President

“The day you stop wanting to learn is the day your career is over.”
Chris Penn, Vice President

“Less is more. Keep it simple! Make it work!”
Peter Bayuk, Office Coordinator

“Don’t think of your career as a straight line. So much changes in the market around you that you should stay aware of, and pivot accordingly based on where you see trends that intersect with your interests. Use that to build to your strength and make yourself indispensable to your employer.”
Scott Monty, Executive Vice President

“This is PR, not ER. Nobody died today. So let’s get a drink.”
Cathy Summers, Vice President

“If you are excited about your job you will be good at it.”
Zach Nerland, Intern

“Hold yourself accountable to doing your best work always. No matter how mundane the task. Anything less than that is a waste of everyone’s time (including yours).”
Amanda Grinavich, Senior Marketing Analyst 

“Remember who you are and what you represent.”
Danielle Coe, Senior Account Executive

“Push yourself to be more productive than the day before. Assign yourself ONE “top priority” (that aligns with a long term goal and isn’t simply a task) to complete for the day and focus your time/energy on completing that one priority. Once you complete that task, your morale improves and you’ve completed work that’s geared toward a larger goal.”
Natalie Townsend, Senior Account Executive

“Work smarter, not harder.”
Julie Staadecker, Account Director

“Always make your boss look good”
Peter McCormack, Account Executive

“Do the things you’re most afraid of.”
Jennifer Hirsch, Senior Account Manager

“Accept change. If you can remain flexible to whatever may occur in your life you’ll be better able to adapt across the board – work and personally.”
Chel Wolverton, Account Manager

“Find the solution. Be discreet.”
Todd Defren, CEO

“Stay positive. Saying “No I can’t” isn’t a motivating phrase to hear.”
Emily Wienberg, Senior Account Executive

“Be solution oriented. No matter the problem, come to the table with some aspect of a solution. Also, similar to Cathy Summers’ advice – we’re not curing cancer over here. Life’s too short to take your job TOO seriously.”
Katelyn Davis, Senior Account Executive

“My mom told me this one and I really like the metaphor. When she was about 12 she went for a horseback ride with a friend who knew how to ride. They were crossing a ravine with rocks and water – my mom held on really tight to the reigns and tried to steer the horse where to go. Her friend said, just let go, the horse knows where to go.

Moral of the story – get on the horse and get going in the direction you want to go but don’t be forceful with the “little things”… you’ll get there!”
Sarah Salbu, Senior Account Executive

“It’s best to follow your own path and be yourself. Worry less about what the person next to you is doing or what their personal ambitions are. Do great work and let it speak for itself. Don’t get so wrapped up in your colleagues that you forget to focus on yourself.

Another saying I’ve always liked is “success is where opportunity and preparation meet.” Put in the work, be open to learning and embracing new things, and prepare yourself for when opportunity comes knocking.”
Tyler Achilles, Account Executive

“Be like a duck. Stay calm on the surface, but paddle like hell underneath.”
Alicia Cerasuolo, Account Manager

What is some of the best career advice you’ve ever received? Share with us in the comments!

Amanda Grinavich
Senior Marketing Analyst



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