A man who's interviewed over 2,000 of the world's most successful people shares his 3 best pieces of career advice

Dan SchawbelDan Schawbel

  • Author Dan Schawbel has interviewed thousands of business leaders for his books on career success and workplace communication.
  • He revealed his three best pieces of career advice in an interview with Forbes published Tuesday.
  • He recommends people try many different experiences at work, be proactive about finding the right opportunities, and develop their soft skills.

If there's anyone who knows about the keys to building a successful career, it's author Dan Schawbel.

Schawbel has interviewed more than 2,000 leaders over the years, from Michael Bloomberg and Sheryl Sandberg to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He recently surveyed thousands of managers and employees for his new book on workplace communication, "Back to Human," and before that, he wrote "Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success," drawing from more than 75 interviews with leaders from Google, PepsiCo, General Electric, and other companies.

In an interview with Forbes contributor Zack Friedman, Schawbel revealed what he considered his three best pieces of career advice.

Here's what he said:

'Have as many experiences as early in your career as possible'

"You won't find your passion, purpose and 'sweet spot' unless you try a lot of different projects with a variety of people, in various jobs and careers," Schawbel told Friedman.

"These experiences will give you the self-awareness required to make the best and most authentic decisions around your work life."

Related: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and 12 more successful people reveal their favorite places to 'think big'

'Be accountable for your career and take charge of your life'

"Opportunities aren't going to magically appear and 'hope' isn't a good career strategy," he said. "At the end of the day, you need to put the effort in to make things happen so don't rely on others, when it's your career not theirs."

'Develop your soft skills'

"When we asked what managers are looking for when deciding whom to promote, it was soft skills. These include communication skills, the ability to prioritize work and teamwork," Schawbel said.

"Spend more time connecting with people and use technology to automate and eliminate the work that needs to be done, but doesn't carry as much importance as your business relationships."

In the interview, Schawbel also shared his top leadership lessons, explained how to create genuine connections at the office, and discussed the future of work.

Read the full Forbes interview here »

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