The Best Advice I Ever Received

I’ll save this for another post, but there is one thing you must have in order to be successful in a corporate environment.

I’m serious. Don’t miss this one.

You need a mentor/advisor; someone who has been at the company for a while.

At ESPN, I was fortunate to have both informal and formal mentors. One took to me right away and gave me a piece of advice that I dismissed originally but quickly learned the gravitas of his statement.

“Never get too low,” he said. “And never get too high.”

Last time, we covered the importance of branding yourself as an overachiever. This is about branding yourself as being steady.

Trust me. If you work for a company long enough, the tides will change.

Re-orgs happen.

Projects that should never get the nod get green lit.

Projects that should get pushed get clipped.

Executives come.

Executives go.

You may find yourself on the the fast track one quarter and struggling to get recognized the next quarter.

Such is life in Corporate America.

What you can do is remain steady. Keep overachieving and stay professional.

Be gracious toward your peer who got the promotion you deserved.

Expect to work on projects you will hate.

Congratulate those around you.

Temper your own celebrations.

Take your promotion with grace and treat it like one of many to come.

If you brand yourself as steady, your co-workers, supervisors and executives will see you as dependable. And they’ll respect your opinion more.

If you’re the guy who says everything sucks or the gal who says everything is amazing, your opinion won’t matter. But if you consistently give maximum effort and give honest, well thought out and researched opinions, people will listen and respect you.

Save the partying and complaining for your dogs when you get home.


Cody is a Product Manager at ESPN. He manages, conceptualizes and develops many of the social aspects of He also is Found and CEO for Gunner Technology, Inc an end-to-end Web strategy company, providing solutions for small businesses.

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