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What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Upskilled’s team answers!

By Yvette McKenzie

Great advice can make or break a career, and affect the way we look at the world. Good advice can instil confidence in a person, and empower them to achieve their goals, and to be the best they can be.

Most of us remember a piece of advice that someone gave us, that perhaps changed the course of our lives, influenced us, or stayed with us throughout our study and career journeys. SkillsTalk sat down with some of the team here at Upskilled, and asked them what was the best advice they’d ever been given.

“Seeking and giving advice are central to effective leadership and decision making. Receiving guidance is often seen as the passive consumption of wisdom,” says David A. Garvin in the Harvard Business Review. “When the exchange is done well, people on both sides of the table benefit. Those who are truly open to guidance (and not just looking for validation) develop better solutions to problems than they would have on their own.”

The best advice I've ever been given: Upskilled speaks

Great advice can motivate us to be the best we can be, and give us the confidence to achieve our goals. Here’s some advice from the Upskilled team, as given to them by people they admire, love and trust.

#1: Jacqui says to work hard

Things happen for a reason. Hard work never killed anyone, and what you put in, you get out.

Jacqui Salvage, Trainer and Assessor in the Community Services Faculty

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

#2: Jana says learn how to adapt to different working environments

In 2015, I did my first internship with music and lifestyle publication, The AU Review, and I worked alongside Helen, the managing editor at the time and supported her in all editorial and administration tasks. While I was interning for the publication, I was also a Contributing Writer where I was writing interview features and reviewing albums/EPs from bands that were newly released.

Whenever she was editing a piece of my work, she noticed that my sentences were always too long and needed to be cut down to an acceptable length. Helen always gave consistent feedback when it came to my writing and one of the ones that stuck with me was, "Be concise and use simple language." I used to feel compelled to use smart adjectives in my work, which often caused my articles to not make sense.

Throughout the years, Helen's advice has helped me gain confidence in adapting to different working environments and nurture the content of an organisation or business when it comes to social, newsletter and blogs. While her advice seemed so simple at the time, it was feedback I still consciously think of whenever I'm writing a piece of content, no matter the length. Writing is a skill I'm really proud to have and I'm glad it has helped me reach my own professional goals.

Jana Angeles, Content Marketing Coordinator

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

#3: Sadiq says to value education above everything else

The best advice I ever received was from my father, and it’s a bit clichéd (in fact, I think every Indian dad says this to their kid!) but it’s relevant to Upskilled does. He came from, let's say, “not much money at all”, and never had the opportunity to go to school or university.

He told me: In life you might lose everything but you can never lose your education; and that will always help you get back on your feet.

My father worked really hard, and somehow barely managed to pay for my education, but was really determined to put me through school and university. I once asked him “why?”, and that's what he said.

Sadiq Merchant, CEO and Director of Upskilled

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

#4: Mansi says to plan your day

The best advice I ever received was from my father. He told me that spending fifteen minutes each day to plan your day will save you hours of useless work.

Mansi Tayal, Commercial Business Manager

#5: Christine says to reach for the light

I'd like to share one of my favourite photographs with you, by Andrew Dickman. It’s quite inspiring to me. He artist says, "Exploring the rugged beauty of Ormiston Gorge in the Northern Territory reveals the struggle that native plants experience daily to survive in such harsh conditions. This lonesome young gum tree on the side of a cliff is determined to grow and shine."

Christine Zheng, Accounts for Upskilled

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

#6: Dean says to consider volunteering to expand your career prospects

You can’t get experience without a job, you can’t get a job without experience- so volunteer at your dream workplace till they employ you.

Dean Egan, Trainer and Assessor in the Business Faculty

#7: Angela says that work life balance is important

My advice is in relation to working long days and making sure you have a work life balance: You don't get paid enough to worry about things you can't change. Just do as much as you can each day, your work will still be here for you to do tomorrow.

Angela Flannery, Education Consultant

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

#8: Jon says that you might be perfect for that role

If you can match at least 60% of what an employer wants then send them your resume.

Jon Andersen, Admissions team, Upskilled

#9: Yvette says never burn bridges

My advice is to never burn bridges in your life or career, and never carry grudges. Sometimes when you pass someone in the hallway at work and they’re not smiling, you might think they suddenly don’t like you, and you wonder, “What did I do wrong?”

Often, you’ve done nothing wrong at all, and that person has just come out of a tough meeting, or just got news about a campaign that didn’t work. Try never to take things personally at work, as it’s usually “not about you”. Tomorrow is a new day.

Yvette McKenzie, Content Strategist

#10: And lastly, Moe shares an inspiring video (watch from 3:27)


Moe Al Asady, Student Support Consultant

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