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Golden Guide Career Advice: Be Intentional and Strategic

Lydia Lazar

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Golden Tip No. 4: Focus Your Attention, Continually Motivate Yourself and Take Steps to Grow and Prosper in Your Career

Golden Guide Career Advice is a new series from the AMA in partnership with Lydia Lazar, author of Dean Lazar’s Golden Guide: Pragmatic Career Advice for Smart Young People. A new tip in the series will be posted each Tuesday—all tips are available here.

Do you have a career question? Contact Lazar at deardeanlazar@gmail.com—the answer may appear in a future post.

Be intentional with your time and your energy. Without realizing it, many people drift along and wait for things to happen to them. They wonder why their friends seem to be doing exciting things or getting great chances in life. In fact, it is far too easy to be complacent when you have gotten into college or started your first job. The distractions and pleasures of life can fill your days and leave you with no energy or time to seek new challenges.

Those who have your best interests at heart—perhaps your family or a special mentor—care about your happiness and professional achievements. You must care about yourself with a fierce energy that will get you past the naysayers, haters and sheer indifference of the world. This is not selfish: It’s pragmatic.

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Remember that the world of work is constantly changing, so you must be vigilant about updating your skills, refreshing your social and professional network and keeping track of developments in the industries that you care about.


Dean Lazar's Golden Guide

For more career tips, read Dean Lazar’s Golden Guide: Pragmatic Career Advice for Smart Young People, available on Amazon and at your local bookstore. Do you have a career question? Contact Lazar at deardeanlazar@gmail.com—the answer may appear in a future post.

Lydia Lazar is founder and president of LHL Consulting. She is the former associate dean for recruitment and career services at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and previously, dean of international law and policy overseeing international student admissions (LLM) at Chicago-Kent College of Law.