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December 10, 2013
The Gift of Career Advice
 
Happy Holidays!

What better way to kick off a season of gifting and goodwill than to share one of the most critical workplace gifts: knowledge. Here are some great pieces of career advice that have been passed on to me from some of my colleagues at MEC:

“Start taking on the role of the next level if you want to get to the next level. Always demonstrate ambition.” –Marla Kaplowitz, CEO, MEC North America

“The best career advice I've ever received was on my very first job in the very first week. It was extraordinarily simple, yet so powerful: Always say please and always say thank you.” –Mason Franklin, Managing Partner, Integrated Planning, MEC North America
 
“Do what you love; (you) can’t spend your time doing something you don't like.” –Gibbs Haljun, Managing Director, Media Investment, MEC North America
 
“I hit a point in my career where I hadn't really faced adversity and I was just starting to take on more of a leadership role. Of course, that is when some things went off plan for me. My boss and mentor at the time said to me, ‘It isn't about being perfect or always getting it right. That is impossible. What matters is what you do when things go wrong or get tough. How you react and lead then is what makes the difference.’ I have always kept that in mind in good times and bad. It changed my perspective on myself and my teams.” –Rick Acampora, President, Client Services, MEC North America
 
“The woman who played the most significant role in my career once said, ‘Teach everything you know to the people who work for you, or your bosses will be hesitant to promote you.’ Right she was. Never be afraid of sharing knowledge.” –Carol Lansen, Managing Partner, MEC North America
 
“(A career coach) had told me, ‘You are your own worst enemy in developing your career. You use your intellect for others and not for yourself. Get out of your own way.’ Six months after that I made Partner, and have been moving since.” –Anonymous
 
“My first boss advised me that this is a very small industry and you should always treat others well, actively avoid making any enemies and always leave companies on good terms. The only thing you have in the business is your reputation and it far precedes you!” –Theresa LaMontagne, Managing Partner, Senior Practice Lead, Analytics & Insight, MEC North America
 
“If you are a working parent, be present with your coworkers when you are at work and be present with your children when you are home. Trying to address both work and children during the day and at night doesn't serve anyone well; least of all yourself. …. Also, many people have trouble making decisions. Learn how to make decisions; even if they are not perfect. Sometimes moving forward is more important than perfection.” –Susan Schiekofer, President, Digital, MEC North America

I’m happy to top this off with some of the best advice I’ve received during my own work journey:
  • When in doubt, go for it. It’s better to regret something you’ve done than something you never did.
  • Granted, they call it work for a reason — but if you’re not having fun, you’re done.
  • Remember where you came from; don’t be a jerk.
  • If you’re not happy, you can change it. Don’t solely rely on others to do it for you, and don’t waste your time blaming others. The desire and ability to change rests in you.
Here’s to a fantastic, inspiring 2014! 

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Christine Stack joined the media agency MEC in 2011 as Senior Partner, Director-Talent Acquisition; in that role, she is responsible for the creation, development, and delivery of strategies to attract and retain senior-level talent at the agency across North America. She is also a key member of MEC’s Talent executive committee. 
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