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20 Career Lessons from Celebrities

Tania Khadder and Zac Frank

#11: Barack Obama

Lesson: Inexperience doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach for the top.

Regardless of your politics, there’s no question that Barack Obama had less experience than his two challengers—Hillary Clinton in the primary and John McCain in the general election. In fact, Obama’s decision to run for president is something that people in any profession should keep in mind. If you want to get to the top, you can follow the traditional route. Build your experience and gradually work your way up the ladder. You have to content yourself, though, to reaching the highest rung pretty late in life.

Some people have what it takes to rise to the top sooner rather than later. There are three keys to making that move a success. First, think above your pay grade. Even if you are better than anyone else in your current position, you need to think outside of it. Think about the larger organization and ways it could be better. Try to think of big ideas that could change the rules of the game. Next, carpe diem. If you’re going to leap frog over pay grades, you have to seize the moment when the opportunity presents itself. Finally, be confident and don’t underestimate yourself.

#12: Angelina Jolie →

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