Bill Gates imparts five lessons for success in career and life

Building networks and establishing a work-life balance are key for graduates who want to enter the workforce, says Gates.
By: | May 16, 2023

Life is not a one-act play, and individuals can make many career choices throughout their lives, according to Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft.

Speaking recently to graduates of Northern Arizona University, he said, “You’re probably facing a lot of pressure right now to make the right decisions about your career. It might feel like those decisions are permanent. They’re not.”

Secondly, Gates encouraged graduates not to underestimate the power of confusion, noting that even as a Co-Founder of a multi-trillion-dollar organisation, he still learns new things daily and sometimes needs to seek advice from others to solve complex problems. He said, “At some point in your career, you will find yourself facing a problem you cannot solve on your own. When that happens, don’t panic. Take a breath. Force yourself to think things through. And then find smart people to learn from.”

Gates’ third piece of advice was to gravitate towards work that solves a problem. Saying that graduates today are in a unique position to make a living while making a difference, he encouraged them to seek opportunities that energise them to do their best work.

READ: Developing lifelong learning skills essential for career changers

The fourth lesson he imparted was the importance of building a network and friendships, emphasising that classmates and colleagues can become valuable connections in the workforce.

Lastly, Gates warned against working so hard that individuals forget to live their lives. He noted that he used to believe in working non-stop, but becoming a father helped him realise the importance of work-life balance.