It's that time of year again! As countless college seniors gear up for their highly anticipated graduation day, many may feel themselves excited and simultaneously anxious about entering the Real World.
At the recent annual Matrix Awards luncheon in New York City sponsored by New York Women in Communications, award winners and presenters ranging from Arianna Huffington to Rosie O'Donnell and Evelyn H. Lauder, shared their words of wisdom on secrets to success:
1. Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post
"The best advice is not to be afraid of failure because so often women stop themselves from taking risks, from pursuing their dreams because they're afraid of failure. All I can say is failure is not the opposite of success. It's really a stepping-stone of success and everyone has failed along the way to success."
2. Gwen Ifill, Moderator and Managing Editor, "Washington Week " and Senior Correspondent, "The PBS NewsHour"
"It's tough. Journalism in general is shrinking and you have to be even more focused that you want to do it than ever. You have to focus on what you want to do, develop an expertise and create a situation where they can't tell you no. "
3. Paula Kerger, President & CEO, PBS
"I also think the whole media landscape is evolving, there are a lot of new opportunities and particularly in journalism. In public broadcasting we're also doing a lot of work online and using a lot of the different platforms. So I encourage young people looking at new careers, not locking themselves into a box too early….look for opportunities that will give you a breadth of experience."
4. Idina Menzel, Tony Award-winning performer
"Something I wish I could go back and do again, I wish I majored or minored in another humanity like an English major, something else that would enrich me as an artist instead of just being pigeon-holed to the acting all day long. I think I'd be a better songwriter, now I'm playing catch up….reading. I'm always trying to keep up to date with what's going on, traveling…mostly of just that awareness it's about opening up your mind to what's out there and that's how you become a more compassionate and empathetic person. "
5. Evelyn H. Lauder, Vice President, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc
"The best advice that I'd give any woman starting out in any career is to not give up. Continue doing everything they want to do and before you know it, you really will be able to succeed. In the beginning it's very hard and most women get discouraged and they shouldn't be. They need to stick with it and have determination to go forward; as you go forward and build a reputation, you'll go from better job to better job."
6. Gina Sanders, President and CEO of Fairchild Fashion Group
"The best advice I could give is on the one hand, identify what it is you love and stick with it. On the other hand, be open to detours. You never know. They're both true! It's interesting because I wanted to be an English professor but I was also a competitive runner and while I was waiting to hear from graduate school, I pitched a marketing idea to a running shoe company and I never went to graduate school and never looked back! You never know in the mix of your passions what will lead you where. I have found the competitive athletic piece very much impacts the work piece and the fact that I love English is very much about communications."
Click here to read the last 3 secrets to success from comedian, Rosie O'Donnell, public relations guru Cindi Berger, and President of A&E Networks Abbe Raven.
More from Vicki Salemi:
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About the Author:
Vicki Salemi is a career expert who taps into her 13+ years of experience as a human resources/recruiting executive at KPMG and Deloitte to enlighten and empower people. She's an author, journalist, public speaker and die-hard Yankees fan! Vicki is the author of Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York and The ABC's of College Life.
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