2017 is almost over. A new year is nearly upon us. It’s a time for resolutions and reflection.
So it’s not a bad time to think about improvements and tweaks we can make to our own careers.
Business Insider has interviewed numerous successful people about their career experiences and insight. We boiled down the mountain of advice to a few standouts we found particularly interesting.
Here’s some of the best advice we heard this year:
Be intentional with your time
Facebook product design VP Julie Zhuo spends much of the day in meetings.
But before she plunges into these conversations with her teams and direct reports, she likes to make a game plan.
“I try to be very intentional about my time,” she previously told Business Insider. “It’s easy to get into the habit of reacting to what’s happening during the day.”
That means examining exactly what she wants to accomplish in every meeting.
“I go into every meeting with an idea of what I want to do or say,” she said. “That makes it much, much easier when you’re contact-switching between many different things.”
Stay humble and work hard
It’s one thing to pay lip service to humility and work ethic. But it’s another to truly demonstrate they’re in line with your values during a job interview.
Daniel Schwartz, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International — the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes — said he always vets job candidates with a certain tricky question to get a better sense of their values.
“One question I ask is, ‘Are you smart or do you work hard?'” he told Adam Bryant of The New York Times.
And, Business Insider reported, there’s definitely a right answer.
“You want hard workers,” he said. “You’d be surprised how many people tell me, ‘I don’t need to work hard, I’m smart.’ Really? Humility is important.”
Lead with hard work and humility when presenting yourself in your professional life.
Success is about people — not plans
Plans can only get you so far. If you want to really kick your career into high gear, you’re going to need help from other people.
That’s something LinkedIn cofounder and investor Reid Hoffman learned firsthand.
In an interview with Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” he advised everyone to build “as strong a network as possible, because that’s the thing that most catapults you, in terms of your capabilities, in terms of your abilities to do things.”