Paths To Success: Five Career Lessons To Learn From Christopher Nolan

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Director Christopher Nolan has taken moviegoers into wormholes, through the streets of Gotham, and into the deepest recesses of our dreams. In the process, he became one of the highest-grossing directors in history. Here are five career lessons that you can learn from the master of mind-bending cinema.

Join organizations that interest you in college, even if they don’t relate to your major.

Although Nolan studied English literature at University College London, he produced several small films by joining the college’s film society. By not allowing his major to restrict his interests, Nolan nurtured his love of film and began building his career.

Learn from your mistakes.

Nolan’s first attempt at creating a feature film was scrapped due to technical limitations. Before trying again, Nolan and his crew created several shorts to prepare themselves for any similar issues. Six months of rehearsal later, the team began shooting Following, Nolan’s successful directorial debut.

Work around your budget.

One of the reasons that Nolan decided to make Following a non-linear narrative was the film’s scant budget, which resulted in a lack of filming permits and a sporadic shooting schedule. However, the decision resulted in a more creatively unique product, revealing Nolan’s ability to turn a disadvantage into an opportunity.

Network.

Nolan presented Following at Slamdance, a film festival showcasing low-budget independent films and emerging artists. There, he viewed a movie shot by Walter Pfister, and was so impressed that he tracked Pfister down and engaged him in conversation. They subsequently collaborated on enormously successful films such as Memento, Inception, and the Dark Knight Trilogy.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

Nolan attributes much of his directorial success to his strategy of imagining himself as an audience member. Rather than allowing his vision to be compromised by the technical difficulties of bringing it into fruition, Nolan puts the spectators first, resulting in a product that pleases audiences.

Should You Quit Your Job?

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Once you’ve decided to start looking for a new job, your first inclination might be to ditch your current position immediately. However, should you quit now or stick it out until you find a better option? Consider these questions before making a decision:

Can you afford to do it?

Asses your financial situation; do you have enough money saved for an extended search, or another breadwinner in the house who can keep things relatively stable? Regarding health insurance, can you remain covered while you are looking? Job searches can vary in length, and while you might find a new job right away, it could also take a couple of months.

Can you leave without burning bridges?

Even if you have been dreaming of the moment you can leave your job, make sure to do so with style and class. You will need both your management and co-workers as references in the future, so don’t burn bridges by abandoning them in the middle of a large project. If staying on board during your search will result in a cleaner transition, it is something worth considering. When the time does come to move on, give your two weeks’ notice, put on a smile, and do everything you can to make sure your replacement has what they need to thrive.

Are your skills currently in demand?

Do your skills give you that “X-factor” that Hiring Managers will fawn over? If you find that people in your skill zone are highly in demand, you may have a shorter job search on your hands. Conversely, if you are lacking certain in-demand skills, your job search may be longer. Staying at your current job may not only be smart financially if you have a long job search ahead, but it may also allow you to learn new on the job skills while you search.

Are there any extenuating circumstances that make staying in your job unwise?

Is your job making you sick with stress or taking an emotional toll on you? Your wellbeing is very important, and if you feel like staying at your job is detrimental to your health in any way, it’s an factor you need to consider.

Getting The Most Out Of A “Constructive Coaching” Session With Your Manager

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Feedback helps you become a better professional, and while we all enjoy positive feedback, it’s often constructive criticism that will help get you to the next level. When that feedback comes from your boss in the form of a constructive coaching session, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of the session: Continue reading “Getting The Most Out Of A “Constructive Coaching” Session With Your Manager”

Paths to Success: 5 Career Lessons to learn from J.K. Rowling

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Within five years, author J.K. Rowling went from living on welfare to becoming a multimillionaire. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of her beloved fantasy novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (released in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), we are looking back at Rowling’s extraordinary story of struggle and persistence. Here are five career lesson that you can learn from one of the world’s most beloved writers. Continue reading “Paths to Success: 5 Career Lessons to learn from J.K. Rowling”

Paths to Success: 5 Career Lessons to Learn from Warren Buffett

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No matter what your career goals are, sharing successful people’s strategies will give you insight on how to get ahead. This week, we are featuring investment king Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Here are five career lessons you can learn from the path to success of one of the richest businessmen in the world. Continue reading “Paths to Success: 5 Career Lessons to Learn from Warren Buffett”

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