Steve Job's Best Career Advice For Millennials Inspirational-Navigating Adulthood

Steve Jobs’s Best Career Advice For Millennials

Do you find Steve Jobs to be inspirational? A few days ago, I was talking to a high school friend (hi Tyler!) and he mentioned how much he loved Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech. When he mentioned the speech, I might have emitted out a high pitch squeal because I was absolutely obsessed with it my senior year of undergrad. In fact, I loved the speech so much that I had this quote hanging above my desk while I was in the midst of job-searching:

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

I listened to the speech again yesterday and there were a few things he said that really stuck with me in terms of career advice. Even though he said the words in 2005, I feel that they are STILL applicable 12 years later for today’s millennials.

Steve Jobs’s Best Career Advice For Millennials

Find a Job Where You Love What You Do

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.

We spend a significant amount of our time at work and commuting to work, so it makes sense that we should love what we do. I’ve had jobs in the past where I dreaded going to work every day. Every minute of the work day seemed to go by so slowly and I would check the clock every 3 minutes to see if lunchtime had arrived. When I look back at photos from that stage of my life, I look so miserable. My unhappiness from my work life spilled into my personal life and my overall quality of life took a big dive.

Thankfully, I got out of that situation, and I can honestly say that my overall happiness has increased. I’m not saying that you have to love your job 100% of the time- I think we have to be realistic and realize that no job is perfect. Every job has its downsides. But if you can find job in your job 70% of the time, then I think you’ve found a job that qualifies as something you love to do.

Takeaway: If you are unhappy at your current job, make efforts to change your situation. Update your resume, start looking at job listings online, see if there are any other opportunities in your company. Everyone, including you, deserves to be happy at their job. 

Getting Fired From Your Job Is Not The End Of The World- It Could Be The Best Thing That Ever Happened To You

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

When you get laid off or when you get fired from work, it can feel like the end of the world. Sometimes it’s because you and the company were not a good fit for each other. Sometimes, it’s because your skills weren’t a good fit for the role. Regardless, it’s normal to feel badly about yourself when you lose your job. But don’t lose hope- there’s a better job out there for you!

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and when things fall apart, it’s because better things are waiting for you. I had a friend who was laid off from his job. After giving himself a few days to process what had happened, he put all his efforts into finding another job. He asked for feedback on how to update his resume and he applied to lots and lots of job listings. In two weeks, he had a job offer from another company that paid him 25% more than he used to make. See? Getting fired was the best thing that happened to him because otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have found that better, higher-paying job.

Takeaway: Losing your job isn’t the end of the world. Hustle hard and put effort into finding a new job- update your resume, apply to multiple job listings and brush up on your interviewing skills. Chances are you’ll find an even better job and you might even be able to find a job that pays more.

Don’t Sweat The Small Mistakes You Make At Work

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

We’ve all had those days where we can’t seem to stop making mistakes at work. Maybe you made a spelling error in an important email. Maybe you asked a not-so-great question at the meeting last week. I’m the kind of person where I’ll beat myself up for a small mistake for at least three days until I realize that in the grand scheme of things, it was something small. As Steve Jobs says- in the end, only the truly important stuff matters. Three months from now, people are going to remember your contributions to a project- not a spelling mistake you once made in an email.

Takeaway: Everyone makes mistakes, just make sure you learn from what you did wrong so you can avoid making the same mistake again.

Take The Opinions Of Others Into Consideration, But Don’t Let The Opinions Change Who You Are

Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

I struggled with this for so many years- I really cared about what other people thought and I tried to take everyone’s feedback into consideration. In reality, what happened was I started to lose myself and I started to lose sight of what I wanted. I came to realize that I have my own best interests at heart and ultimately, I should do what’s best for me. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to other people- on the contrary, I believe listening to different opinions gives you a more well-rounded perspective.

Example: In my day job, I manage IT projects that often have 5-10 people working on them. Everyone has their opinion on what should happen, but ultimately, I have to trust my gut feeling and make the final call about what I think is the best decision.

Takeaway: You should listen to what other people say, but be true to yourself when you make decisions.


Have you heard Steve Jobs’s famous Stanford graduation speech before? What other carer advice do you think he had to offer?


Steve Job's best career advice for millennials from his famous 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech. #1: Find a Job Where You Love What You Do l Read more at

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  1. This is so inspiring and so true. I always feel so dumb at work because I ask questions, but I hate assuming things and end up being wrong. I also know that I am capable of so much and although I just started out blogging and it’s hard, I know with persistence I can do really well with it.

  2. I loveee the quote about connecting the dots so much. I never thought about it like that, either! I too was obsessed with this speech for awhile. It’s been 3 years since I graduated college and still need inspirational career articles, quotes, and speeches all of the time. That is why I love reading blog posts like this!

  3. It is so important to remember that getting fired from your job is not the end of the world, its the beginning of new opportunities. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I definitely agree with evaluating your happiness level at work – for me, I commute almost 2 hours a day to get to and from work and it’s quite draining by the end of the week, but I really do enjoy my job. It will be something I consider for my next workplace to be closer to where I live, though. I will definitely be listening to the commencement speech, thank you!

  5. These are all such good ones. I remember getting fired from my first job out of the military and it made me really upset. But looking back now it was a huge door opener and I ended up going to college and getting a degree instead of going directly into the work force.

  6. Jobs is definitely a figure to look up to for sure. I remember when I first came across a quote of his that went along the lines of “Everything around you was built by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it and build your own things that other people can use”…it simply blew my mind, as simple as the quote seems now. It opened my eyes to our individual human potential 🙂 Great post Ying!
    Vivian recently posted…The Ultra Complete Guide to Pinterest Traffic Mastery for BeginnersMy Profile

  7. Jobs is definitely a figure to look up to for sure. I remember when I first came across a quote of his that went along the lines of “Everything around you was built by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it and build your own things that other people can use”…it simply blew my mind, as simple as the quote seems now. It opened my eyes to our individual human potential 🙂 Great post!
    Vivian recently posted…The Ultra Complete Guide to Pinterest Traffic Mastery for BeginnersMy Profile

  8. I have heard the speech and there’s so many great take aways from it!! He was a very inspirational person and was smart too not only in a book sense way but common sense as well

  9. So much yes to number three! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten upset with myself and/or apologized to my boss over a mistake that was actually no big deal. This post came at the perfect time; thank you for that 🙂

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  10. This was so great for me to read right now! I took a job last year, knowing that it would only be a year-long gig…but it still stung when I got my non-renewed letter because I loved the job! This helps me keep looking forward to something better, not looking back!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  11. Making mistakes at work is something I am still working on. It really gets me down in the dumbs bc I feel like everyone knows.. which is usually never true. I am my hardest critic!

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