Career Planning Tips from a Pro: David Koch

If you think that career planning is done once you are in high school and then you have to stick to it, then you are wrong. It is right that the planning process starts then, but career planning is not a one-time exercise. It is in high school that you touch the steering wheel of your career for the first time. Then you need to learn how to control it properly so that you can steer in the direction you want with confidence. David James Koch, who is a renowned businessman today, has proved that if a person is consistent with its efforts, he or she can work wonders. Though immense wealth cannot be achieved overnight, if you keep striving for it with planning, passion and confidence, you will definitely reach your target.

Here are a few tips from this successful person that can help in shaping up your career in a way that it really pays off well.

Don’t Hesitate to Grab an Opportunity

“Always have enough confidence in yourself to give anything a go. But, also have enough confidence, if it doesn’t work out, to go and do something else”, says Kochie. He also mentions that it was the single best bit of advice he ever received. He also says that he tried to follow it to the letter. That came from his father, and he’s trying to pass it down to his children. In essence, it means never be scared of an opportunity. Grab it, give it your best shot, and if it doesn’t work out, then move on to something else. But never be left wondering ‘what if?’

When Koch was working at Sunrise Network as a finance editor, he came across an opportunity to become a host. He was happy for that. It seems that he keeps asking himself: “How on earth did a finance journalist end up hosting Sunrise?”  And he answers that he has always been an opportunist and whatever he is today is all because of the dedication and commitment that he had put in.

Try to Stand Out and Shine

When says that when he was a young, ambitious 25-year-old journalist, he looked around at all the finance media icons to see what he could learn and how he could be as good. He also mentions that they were all highly skilled with great contacts and much older than he was.

Then says, “So I looked for what could be the next big thing in finance journalism, something so new and different than the usual rules wouldn’t apply and age wouldn’t matter. I’d seen the boom in personal finance media in the US while visiting my parents, who were living in San Francisco at the time. So I decided to do the same thing in Australia. I think the key in any career is to look around and find an in-demand specialty where you can develop a unique set of skills that can set you apart from the rest.”

Try to Be at the Right Place

The economy and technology have dramatically changed the working landscape. Tens of thousands of positions have been made redundant and some jobs have disappeared altogether — including many jobs in print media, where I started out.

If you’re in a large company, the first step is to look for the right department and job. Ignore the gossip and check with the personnel department to see which divisions are hiring. Internal transfers usually receive preference. Ask department heads about their long-range plans, and scan trade magazines or websites to learn which parts of your industry are expanding.

Always Be Positive

Every New Year I ask Libby and the kids what goals they’ve set for themselves for the next 12 months. For years they’d laugh at me. As they got older, there were fewer laughs and even a couple of answers.

Life’s so busy these days that we don’t seem to take a deep breath, stop and think about what we want to do as individuals. But if you don’t have some sort of map, how do you know where you want to get to?

Learn from Your Mistakes, Don’t Regret

I’ve always vowed I’d never depend on radio or television for a living. While they’re great jobs, in some ways they’re horrible industries to be in because they’re so cutthroat and volatile. When you have a single income, a couple of kids and a mortgage, that volatility is unacceptable. So I’ve always worked other jobs on the side because I don’t want to put the family at risk.

That little stash of cash from a second job gives you a fallback position for when things go wrong and flexibility.

Keep Improving Yourself

There’s no doubt money is important. Being paid what your worth is important. But it isn’t the be all and end all.

My top priority has always been to be in a job I love and then be paid appropriately for doing it. I’ve always thought it’s better to be happy to be paid a little below what your worth and keep your job than push for every last dollar and run the risk of being let go at the next downturn.

Build Your Own Brand Value

Branding is important for every organization. The same is applicable for your career as well. Do what best you can at work and build up your reputation at workplace. Take up responsibilities in your company even if it is not a part of your daily work. For instance, it could be anything from helping a committee to being a first-aid representative. This can help you develop your personal brand.

Don’t Hesitate to Take Advice from a Good Mentor

If you are able to find a good mentor, it can be a great value addition to your life. As youngsters, you would definitely need someone who can guide you through the right path after graduation. A well-experienced mentor, who is successful in life, would be able to do that.

Having a net worth of $44.1 billion, David has come a long way in his career. He was a chemical engineer but tried various jobs in different industries, which helped in honing multiple skills. Today he specializes in multiple domains and is heard with full attention when he delivers speeches regarding the success in real-world business, investment issues or the financial tips. The career tips given by him, if understood and implemented properly, will definitely help the youngsters to shape their career brilliantly.

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