Seth Godin's 4 Early Career Mistakes That All Students Should Avoid

JP Michel
You might know Seth Godin as a best-selling author, world-famous blogger and professional speaker.

He's also a master at seeing what others don't see.

For students, the ability to see clearly is crucial to early career success. According to Seth, here are four mistakes that all prevent students from seeing clearly that sabotage their success.

Mistake #1: Applying the rules of school to the world of work.

Too often, students think their future will be like their life in school.

Students are used to being picked, sorted, graded, promoted, reviewed, referenced.

At school, if you did what you were told, you'd be fine.
At work, students need to create their own map. They need to act without permission. And they need to discover how to be indispensable.

The rules at work are completely different from the rules at school.

Learning these new rules helps students create autonomy, competence, and achievement.

“It’s clearly more fun to make the rules than to follow them.” -Seth Godin

Mistake #2: Business is a selfish scam.

Without exposure to the world of work, students might believe that businesses are corrupted, self-interested pursuits.

Sometimes they are, but only if you let them.

Students have an opportunity to reinvent the world. They will write the new rules of the game, including what's expected of businesses in the 21st century. This is both a responsibility and a privilege.

"A great way to give thanks for the privileges we've got is to do important work." -Seth Godin

Mistake #3: Give up if you don't succeed

Fear of failure leaves many students trapped.

If we aren't successful immediately, we believe we should quit. So instead of persevering, we keep looking for the next thing.

Success is not created without overcoming obstacles.

Learning skills takes time, and failure is an essential part of the learning process.

“If failure is not an option, then neither is success.” -Seth Godin

Mistake #4: Seeking early career success

The status quo means pursuing traditional metrics of success.

Most people want to impress others with their job title or their pay.

This leads to a disconnect from what really drives success: learning.

At the start of their careers, students should focus on what they learn, who they can help and what habits and skills they can develop.

"Create something that is so good people can’t sleep without talking about you." -Seth Godin

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