If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Charley Ellis on Careers

You have the talent and capability to create a great life for yourself and for our society. The opportunities are numerous. The need for leadership is compelling. You live only once, and life is short. So your choices matter greatly.

Don’t waste your chance to make important contributions. Work on important opportunities and problems. Be an ethical exemplar and committed leader. Become a recognized expert in your chosen profession. Reach out to and concentrate your time with the best people in your profession. Avoid those who are OK or less on values, character, and ethics.

Choose a career you really enjoy. You’ll make ample money doing work you like with people you admire. You’ll be able to provide your family with everything of real value, so why give up joy for dough?

Find a firm that understands the real value of good ethics.

You may consider starting your own company, ideally with one or more friends you trust and admire. If anyone can talk you out of it, let them — because it’s only when you know you must do it that you’ll have the determination to overcome all the obstacles and challenges and have the persistence to figure it out and make it fly.

If you decide to go ahead, give it all you’ve got. Building your own company is the greatest freedom you can ever have — and it’s fun!

Likes | | Comments

Back to Top