Top 10 Career Advice Sketches and Photos

In the last year of the decade, 2019, I continued to use Instagram as my palette for thinking, blending, and creating. @agilitythink is where I draw and use imagery to share ideas. Follow me here.

Instagram changed its algorithm to discourage fame seekers who do not pay an advertising toll to succeed on their platform. Despite these changes, it is still my favorite place to explore and be artistically engaged.

Here are my top 10 career advice sketches and photos from 2019 based on the likes and engagement.

1 Step Up to the Challenge


Simple words when repeated in succession create a compelling build-up to empowered action. Seen at the Chicago Marathon Expo.

This is a story I want to tell myself every day!

2 Stop Asking for Permission


I walked into the podcasting studio. The sign on the wall gave me pause.

It read, “If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.” That’s Alexandra Levit, futurist and podcaster in the pic with me.

And how many times have you heard in the workplace, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission?”

As a person who followed the rules in school, work, and life, it took me decades to feel confident in making a decision outside the lines of the rulebook. Seriously, teachers loved me.

This whole compliance habit was at odds with taking risk, another important aspect of growth and accomplishment. Fortunately I worked with rule breakers at a couple tech companies. Thanks guys. You know who you are.

Acting on what you believe in might be considered reckless if it goes against the rules. Yet staying inside the lines may also put you out of business. An example is Kodak for its lack of vision regarding the role of digital photography in their business.

It’s true. It is a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission. And only you can give permission to yourself to do something brave or daring.

3 Develop Resilience and Persistence


Whether you choose a career change or it chooses you, you might have to switch from a stable and predictable work environment to an uncertain one.

But, you got this! Persistence is in your veins.

Reinvention. Lane change. Transformation. Entrepreneurship. The altered states of your evolution in life and work. These career paths require fierce determination by the truckload!

Words like reinvention or entrepreneurship inspire excitement or terror. These depend on your personal needs for stable employment or familiar experiences.

Or depending on your ability to handle risk. The arc of persistence is there for you as you fail, run out of money, or simply run out of commitment.

You crash. You figure out how to get back to it.

Persistence pays off!

4 Cultivate Your Personal Brand and Increase Engagement


I was among the top career influencers to follow in 2019 published by Dan Clay!

When you are heads down doing the work, it’s rewarding to to get recognized.

Career Influencer Criteria:

⭐️ Fresh and modern design and personal branding

⭐️ Doing meaningful work

⭐️ Putting forth original ideas and empowering and inspiring motivated professionals to become the best version of themselves

⭐️ Original and useful content updated regularly

⭐️ Ongoing conversation with audience

⭐️ Passion

5 Establish Your Career Vision


Your vision is necessary to make progress in your career.

In real life and in the workplace, the vision of where you want to be and how to get there can feel out of sync.

The winding road with some detours is typically the norm for getting there. Examples are creating a career change, reinventing yourself, getting a degree, getting fit, or working on a complex project.

Because of the change around us, it is difficult to stay the course on a straight line.

I finally accepted that a path filled with exploration and learning is a viable process. I started to adapt to the rhythm of responding to change.

If you maintain a vision, your path will get you there.

6 Master Four Types of Workplace Agility


When someone hears about my area of focus (agility!), they occasionally look at me with a puzzled look. Mmmmh, agility…? Are you a personal trainer? I am complimented, as I must look fit to them!

I further clarify my role as a workplace futurist, author, trainer, and keynote speaker. And then describe the importance of agility in the workplace. Workplace agility affects many parts of companies. It affects individuals, careers, teams, and the entire organization.

Businesses live and die via their ability to compete, stay current, make strategic adjustments and evolve with trends.

Riding the wave of this important trend could make the difference between strategic brilliance or an unpleasant demise. Adopting agile transformation will enable sustainable companies and careers.

Being in the know about agility will benefit you and your career. The illustration highlights four different types of agility: business, team, individual, and career. Read the full article here.

7 Find the Right Partners to Help Move Your Goals Forward


Last year I started working with Caitlin Fitzpatrick as my marketing partner and project manager.

She and I are in the picture – She is the one with the dark hair. She managed our marketing event that evening.

When working with her every week, starting in December of 2018, I experienced a pattern of progress. And momentum.

I am reminded “No one can do it alone.” When working with the right partner, the work is more fun and you get more done.

Here are a few examples of what we accomplished in a 3-month timeframe between December 2018 through February 2019:

⭐️ Almost done with the redesigned website: writing, information map, photo session, working with our web developer Nick Harrison at Dashal. Total time from start to finish: 3 months

⭐️ Marketing event, including planning, creating materials, outreach, etc.

⭐️ Scheduled 3 podcast appearances

⭐️ TV interview

And so much more. This list has 25 line items!

Find the right partners to move your goals forward.

8 How to Retain Your Best Employees


To keep your best employees, prepare them to leave. Whaaat?

Is this the best employee retention strategy?

This might seem like nonsense, yet there is wisdom in helping employees be their best. In helping them find the right role in your organization, where their time and talents are optimized.

Consider cultivating Happy Profitable Employees ™. Do you know what’s most important to your best people?

With 3.7% unemployment in the US, the answer to this question will help companies retain workers, rather than see them leave.

While speaking with hundreds of workers, I discovered employees want to increase their value in the workplace in the following ways. Learn more by listening to Strong Suit Podcast with Jeff Hyman and Marti Konstant.

What Employees Want from Their Employers

⭐️ Opportunity to grow beyond their current role

⭐️ Challenging and interesting projects (the cure for boredom)

⭐️ Technical or industry training

⭐️ Soft skills training

⭐️ Leadership development

⭐️ Flexibility so they can custom-fit their lives into work

⭐️ Competitive salary

⭐️ Acknowledgement within their organization and industry for their accomplishments

You might wonder about helping individuals increase their value or personal brand within your company and workplace.

Helping individuals discover the right fit for their time and talents leads to happier profitable employees. As a result, they may leave, but you benefit during their length of stay.

And it’s likely employees will be more engaged and stay longer when some of these needs are met.

9 Focus on Mentorship to Advance


What is a mentor? According to Oprah, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

Mentorship originated in ancient times. The word Mentor in Homer’s The Odyssey, was used to describe the trusted friend of Odysseus, the King of Ithaca. Mentor offered friendship and counsel for Odysseus.

Mentorship Definition:

As seen in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a mentor is a “trusted counselor or guide.”

Mentor Attributes

Yet, this definition is not enough. Mentors are people with more experience in your specific role or industry. They can answer specific questions and can serve as a guide because they have been there.

Mentors are successful, exhibit professional behavior and can add needed support when it comes to career navigation and development questions. As an example, some mentors offer knowledge and expertise and rely on the questions of their mentees to guide the conversation.

And speaking of Oprah, Barbara Walters mentored Oprah. As Oprah once told Barbara, “Had there not been you, there never would have been me.” Another well-known mentor-mentee relationship is Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

Learn more about how to find and be a mentor.

10 Master The Rules and Break Them Like an Artist


Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist – Pablo Picasso. I’ve done some research on this quote and it is unlikely Picasso used these exact words, but hey, this is a powerful sentiment.

This sign is painted on the second floor of Second City in Chicago, the renowned improvisation and comedy theatre and school.

Attending a performance, I was amazed at the rigor of repetition and dedication to honing a craft. Effective comedy or performance does not happen overnight.

So, when I looked at Pablo Picasso’s quote, I thought about what it takes to be a pro. And once you have mastered the art, you can truly break the rules to create your unique style.

In Summary

Hope you enjoyed the Top 10 career advice sketches and photos for individuals and organizations. What are your plans for the next decade?

Related posts:

Career Agility Solves for Stagnation

How to Find a Mentor, How to be a Mentor

How to Create Your Career Brand in 5 Steps

Why Every Professional Needs to Create a Personal Brand

3 Tips for Personal Brand Messages: Get Noticed and Make a Lasting Impression

New Career Agility Research: 3 Behaviors Shaping Future Workplace

If you are interested in the future of work, career development, the workplace, personal branding, workforce trends/ideas, agility, or how to cultivate happy profitable employees, subscribe to Marti’s 52 Ideas. For more details on career agility, check it out here.

You can also check out the best-selling book on Amazon, Activate Your Agile Career: How Responding to Change Will Inspire Your Life’s Work. Now available via eBook, Paperback, and Audiobook.


Marti Konstant
Marti Konstant is a workplace futurist with an agile mindset. She is a career growth analyst, author, speaker, personal brand architect, and founder of the Agile Careerist Project™. What started out as a quest to fine-tune her evolving career sparked a research project, a book, and workshops, where future of work and career agility are central themes.

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