Our careers might not all follow the same paths as the rich and famous but you might be surprised to find that they have many similar experiences, disappointments, hard work, comebacks (that’s what they call it when you’re a ‘star’) as us mere mortals. And they have some interesting tales to tell.
Here’s a selection of celebrities under the spotlight – their insights might just give you some ideas for your career. Scroll down to see the celebrity spotlight on:
- Actor, Mayim Bialik (aka Amy Farrah Fowler)
- R&B Artist, Usher
- Comedian, Stephen Fry
- iMan, Steve Jobs
- Billionaire investor, Warren Buffett
Who knew, Amy Farrah Fowler really is a neuroscientist?
Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler in the Big Bang Theory is an actor, teacher, author and neuroscientist who thinks it’s ‘nothing spectacular’ to have interests in both acting and science.
In this video Mayim tells her story about how she came to love science, how her interests developed and how she has used her science expertise in her acting.
(Video length: 4:15)
- Importance of a mentor (the biology teacher)
- How picturing what you want to do is necessary to make it happen
- Plans change (Research interest became teaching)
- You can have more than one set of interests / profession within your ‘career’.
If you’ve got a spare 39 seconds to spare check out how graciously Mayim handled the question when a reporter on the red carpet at the 2014 SAG awards asked, “How many people think that you can solve calculus at the drop of a hat?” (She can, of course).
(Video length: 0:40)
- Graciousness is nice (there is nothing to be gained by showing up someone else…they pretty much do that on their own.)
From the reporter
- Don’t ‘wing-it’ – do your homework properly (Mayim’s qualifications are on her Wikipedia page for goodness sake!)
- Don’t try and cover up a mistake. (“I knew you were some kind of scientist.” said the reporter. Really?)
R&B Artist Usher says, “The journey is the destination”
Usher Raymond’s career has evolved, he explains, from singer to dancer to performer then actor, followed by becoming an entrepreneur and mentor and continuing to grow as a performer. He has a vision to be remembered for being associated with something great.
Speaking about his career journey, Usher talks about the approach he takes to his career, shares his experiences and give his greatest bit of advice to aspiring artists. It’s relevant for us all.
(Video length: 7:32)
- Continue to evolve your career for the growth of yourself and others
- The pursuit is more important than the actual destination
- As long as you are moving, as long as you are working – that is the actual destination (love this one!)
- See down moments / low peaks as a lesson to be stronger, wiser and more resilient
- Don’t absorb negative stuff – “Turn your head to great”
- Don’t do it for the glory of it. Do it for the passion of it.
- Work hard. Be a student. (This is not just for singers & dancers!)
Lots of words of wisdom there from Usher! Maybe we could get him to write a guest blog?
British Comedian Stephen Fry shares the worst career advice he’s been given (and he’s not joking)
Stephen Fry, half of the comic duo Fry and Laurie (the other half was “House” actor Hugh Laurie) and well-known English comedian, writer and actor says he doesn’t think he’s ever been given disastrous career advice.
But he’s pretty quick to answer the question about the worst career advice he’s been given.
(Video length: 1:08)
- Don’t choose a job just because it pays more money – you often end up paying in other ways (how true it is)
- “Of course you do jobs for money” and these earn you the time to do other things (his reference is as an actor but it applies to others working in a job that pays the rent, earns the money you need to pay for classes. Recognize that the job you are doing is ‘earning’ you progress in your career in other ways)
- When you do take a job for the money – make sure it’s with nice people and a product you are happy to be associated with (it makes life a lot easier!)
Short but sweet…Stephen Fry’s thoughts on taking a job for the money is plenty of food for thought!
Steve Jobs explains why you have to have passion for what you do
Co-founder of Apple and the man who led the iRevolution of the world, Steve Jobs, is remembered not only for the technology that changed our lives. His famous commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” provided heartfelt and eloquent advice to the graduating class.
In this, much shorter video, he provides a succinct explanation about why you must love what you do.
(Video length: 1:29)
- To succeed is hard, and if you don’t love what you do “any rational person would give up”
- You have to do what you do over a sustained period of time so if you don’t love it, you are going to give up
- People who are considered successful love what they do so they can persevere when it gets really tough
- People who don’t love something and quit do so because “they are sane”
- If you don’t love it you are going to fail
- You need great people around you.
Maybe time to rethink beating yourself up for something you gave up on? If you didn’t love it…it makes sense…find something you do love enough to stick with!
The best advice billionaire investor Warren Buffett ever received
Named by American Time Magazine in 2012 as one of the world’s most influential people, Warren Buffett is considered a shrewd and successful investor as well as being a generous philanthropist. He has reportedly pledged to give away 99% of his fortune during his life or when he dies (there’s no big inheritance in the wings for the little Buffetts).
Here he shares a couple of powerful pearls of wisdom of what he says is the best advice he ever received.
(Video length: 2:01)
- Advice can be received ‘by example’ rather than being told
- The power of unconditional love
- “Keep your mouth shut today as you can always see if you feel the same way tomorrow”
- Don’t stay up all night worrying about what you didn’t say (that’s a relief!)
In this short interview about the business biography of articles about Buffett published in Fortune magazine over more than 40 years, Tap Dancing to Work, Buffett crams a number of key pieces of career advice into less than a minute.
(Video length: 0:53)
- Find your passion
- You’re lucky in life when you find it
- You can’t guarantee you’re going to find it in your first job
- Take the job you would take if you were independently wealthy
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