Get a Tough Mentor

WHEN I joined the company in Paris, my academic track was greatly outweighing my business experience. About a month in the new job, I had a chat with a senior executive who flew in from one of his frequent business trips. The topic of our conversation turned to career development. He seemed trustworthy and empathetic, so I opened up about my recent job-hunting experiences. I told him how demotivating it was to have multiple academic degrees topped with post-graduate certifications, a command of several foreign languages, and still have to struggle to get a good job. At first, his reply made me question my judgment of human character. “Congratulations, you can work the counter at one of the boutiques on Champs-Elysees,” ...

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