Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Oracle of Omaha's Career Advice

The students of Tuck school of Business at Dartmouth flew to Omaha, Nebraska for a two-hour Q&A session with legendary investor Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

One of the questions is:

Q: What is your career advice?
A: If you want to make a lot of money go to Wall Street. More importantly though, do what you would do for free, having passion for what you do is the most important thing. I love what I do; I'm not even that busy. I got a total of five phone calls all day yesterday and one of them was a wrong number. Ms. B from NFM had passion, that's why she was successful. A few months ago I was talking to another MBA student, a very talented man, about 30 years old from a great school with a great resume. I asked him what he wanted to do for his career, and he replied that he wanted to go into a particular field, but thought he should work for McKinsey for a few years first to add to his resume. To me that's like saving sex for your old age. It makes no sense.

And the central themes that spun through their discussion with Mr. Buffet are:
1. "Having passion for what you do is the most important thing."
2. "Stay within your circle of competence."
--Clearly much of Mr. Buffett's success has stemmed from his disciplined focus on investing in businesses that he understands and avoiding those that he doesn't. He counseled them to ask questions constantly and never assume that we have achieved "expert" status in anything.
3. "There's still time for you to choose your own path; tell the truth and be independent."
--One of Mr. Buffett's central messages was that success is dependent upon elective qualities, not something anyone is born with. He reminded them that each one of them get to choose whether or not we're dependable, honest, and compassionate.
4. "There's no free lunch."
--With most things in life, those who work harder and think more clearly are ultimately rewarded. If you're willing to roll the dice on a business or life decision, then you should be willing to accept a wider range of outcomes, including failure.
5. "The meaning of life is to do everything you can to make sure the people you care about love you back."

These golden words are really motivating for any one who is in the serious pursue of his dreams.

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