Top career tips from the beginnings of 2022

NEW YORK, June 6 (Reuters) – It’s commencement speech season, when the country’s fresh college graduates will listen to a few select words to help launch them into the rest of their lives.

Advice tends to focus on the big issues in life: family, friendships, faith, purpose – and, yes, work and money. Whether we like it or not, our finances and careers are a big part of our lives, and we could all benefit from a little advice.

So what do this year’s speakers have to say about our financial future? A selection:

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Allyson Felix, America’s most decorated track Olympian

Advice: Know your value and think about those who will come after

The legendary track queen and multiple Olympic gold medalist spoke out at the University of Southern California and went into detail about her famous contract feud with footwear and apparel giant Nike Inc ( NKE.N).

“I was in the middle of a two-year contract negotiation with Nike, and their initial offer was 70% lower than what I had done before – and that was before they even knew about it. my pregnancy. I felt useless…

“The money was like a slap in the face, but I could handle it. What I asked for was maternity protection…but they weren’t ready to give it to all female athletes.

“So here we are: I was pregnant, I was scared and I was looking at a contract that provided me with exactly what I asked for, but in a way that would only benefit me and not all the women who came after me…I knew what I had to do…What’s absolutely amazing is that three weeks after I wrote an op-ed, Nike did the right thing.They changed their maternity policy.

Ken Jeong, actor and comedian

Advice: Persist

The scene-stealing actor from TV shows and movies like ‘Community’ and ‘The Hangover’ spoke out at Tulane University in New Orleans and admitted he ‘never said what I was about to say right now” about bouncing back from failure.

“People ask me all the time, what is your key to success? Is it talent? No. Is it luck? success is perseverance…

“I came to New Orleans in personal turmoil. I was in medical school at UNC (University of North Carolina), and the reason I came to Tulane was because I was exhausted. I was not doing well in medical school and was about to fail. In fact, I failed. I had not only failed my first stage of my medical exam, I also failed my second stage. It was the first time I really failed when it mattered. Twice…

“I didn’t know if medicine was right for me. I was at a crossroads, thinking I didn’t have what it takes to be a doctor, and I really had to figure out who I was… Long story short, I was able to hold on, and at the end of the year, I took both stages of my board exams here in New Orleans and passed, and finally got my medical degree. I had a second chance at life. I got back on track. »

Patrick Gelsinger, CEO of Intel Corp (INTC.O)

Tip: Find a mentor

The chipmaker giant’s CEO spoke at Ohio State University about the importance of having someone — or better yet, multiple people — to help guide your career path.

“I got a phone call from Andy Grove, soon to be CEO of the company, semiconductor genius, management guru and future Time magazine Man of the Year.

“He said, ‘I was impressed with the presentation you gave, Pat. What are you reading, what are you studying, what are you working on, what are your career goals?’ Well, I was shocked and mumbled lame responses.

“He quickly replied, ‘Those are bad answers – be in my office in a week with better ones. This started a mentoring relationship that lasted 35 years until Andy passed away.

“Mentoring with Andy Grove was like going to the dentist and not taking novocaine. But these are the kind of people you need in your life: if you’re going to get better, they’ll make you better. We We’re diamonds in the rough and we need people like Andy Grove to smooth out those rough edges.

“Every successful adult person I’ve met can reflect on their own Andy Grove. I challenge you: do you have that influence in your life?”

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Reporting by Chris Taylor in New York Editing by Lauren Young and Matthew Lewis Follow us on @ReutersMoney or on

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