Neel Kashkari sat down for a town hall Q&A at Bethel University yesterday, and I wrote about the newsier parts of the discussion here, but the conversation was wide-ranging, and given that the audience was college students, he was asked for career advice.
Here's the Minneapolis Fed president's answer, in its entirety. Just for reference, Hank Paulson was the Treasury Secretary that Kashkari worked for during the financial crisis, and TARP is the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as the bailout of the financial services industry. Before joining the Treasury, Kashkari worked at Goldman Sachs in the Bay Area:
“I would just say my own experience is that life is long and you can do lots of different things. So your first job is not your most important job, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the dream job right out of the gate. It’s what you do with it. People have asked me should I spend time networking. True story, I’ve never spent any time networking. My biggest advice I give to people for their job is, crush your job. Be the MVP, so your manager says ‘Wow, if there’s an important project that comes in I’m going to go to you on it, because I trust you and know you can get it done.’ If you make yourself the MVP, no matter what is given you, you do it with a good attitude, you get it done, you do it well, you’re going to get more responsibility. And the key to your future career success is you want to be the person that gets more responsibility. That’s what’s going to open doors to you. There’s no secret. It’s not about networking, it’s not about who you know. It’s do a great job. Take risks. Seek out real responsibility and if you seek out responsibility and you deliver, you will get more responsibility. And then you’re going to get more and you’re going to get more and you’re going to get more, and that will open up doors. It’s funny because I’m now CEO of a bank with a thousand employees and I talk to people about their careers. People have never given me responsibility to do me a favor. You know when Hank Paulson picked me to run the TARP, he had no choice. He just didn’t have a lot of people around that he could turn to that he trusted, so he wasn’t doing me a favor, I was doing him a favor. And I say that jokingly, but it’s like it’s not that I need someone to look out for me and do me favors. No, do a great job, and it’s going to be in their interest to invest in you.”