Koch’s Startling Interview


People aspire to see a million dollars in their bank account 8-10 years down the line, but not many have a roadmap to turn this dream into reality. One needs to put in a lot of efforts in order to double their salary and keep growing financially. Obviously, there are no quick shortcuts; it’s all about improving your skills every day. Once you start improving yourself by 1% every day, you can grow by 365% every year – and that’s a lot!

Hunt Those Opportunities

You must always keep your eyes open to discover opportunities because they never come and knock at your door. There are infinite opportunities in various forms, and you just need to create a vision in your mind and find the right opportunities matching your interests and skill-set.

Keep Your Self-Confidence Sky-High

Always have enough confidence in yourself to give a shot to anything new, but if it doesn’t work out, you must also have the confidence to do something else, and keep trying until you succeed.

That’s the single best bit of advice I’ve ever received, and I’ve tried to follow it to the letter. It came from my father, and I’m trying to pass it down to my children. In essence, it means never be scared of an opportunity. Grab it, give it your best shot, and if it doesn’t work out, then move on to something else. But never be left wondering ‘what if?’

Look for a Specific Skill-Set You Can Master

When I was a young, ambitious 25-year-old journalist, I looked around at all the finance media icons to see what I could learn and how I could be as good. They were all highly skilled with great contacts and much older than I was.

So, I looked for what could be the next big thing in finance journalism, something so new and different than the usual rules wouldn’t apply and age wouldn’t matter.

I’d seen the boom in personal finance media in the US while visiting my parents, who were living in San Francisco at the time. So I decided to do the same thing in Australia. I think the key in any career is to look around and find an in-demand speciality where you can develop a unique set of skills that set you apart from the rest.

Assess Your Job Category

The economy and technology have dramatically changed the working landscape. Tens of thousands of positions have been made redundant and some jobs have disappeared altogether — including many jobs in print media, where I started out.

If you’re in a large company, the first step is to look for the right department and job. Ignore the gossip and check with the personnel department to see which divisions are hiring. Internal transfers usually receive preference. Ask department heads about their long-range plans, and scan trade magazines or websites to learn the parts of your industry that are expanding.

Set Realistic Goals and Achieve Them

Every New Year I ask Libby and the kids what goals they’ve set for themselves for the next 12 months. For years they’d laugh at me. As they got older, there were fewer laughs and even a couple of answers.

Life is so busy these days that we don’t seem to take a deep breath, stop and think about what we want to do as individuals. But, if you don’t have some sort of road-map, how do you know where you want to get to!

Build a Brand

One of the biggest assets of a company is its brand, and you should be thinking the same way about you and your career. Do the best you can at work and build a great reputation in your company.

Volunteer for company projects and activities outside your speciality — it might be the social club, becoming a first-aid officer, helping on a committee.

Job Satisfaction is as Important as Salary

Nobody can deny the sheer fact that money is important; being paid what you’re worth is important, but it isn’t just about money at the end of the day.

My top priority has always been to be in a job I love and then be paid appropriately for doing it. I’ve always thought it’s better to be happy to be paid a little below what you’re worth and keep your job than push for every last dollar and run the risk of being let go at the next downturn.

Like most industries, the media runs in cycles.

So many people stress about how much they’re being paid; I tend to look at the other rewards first and balance them up — enjoyment, colleagues, potential, conditions.

Get actively involved in your industry association as a member or on a committee — you’ll learn a lot and make good contacts with competitors and suppliers.

Building your personal brand is all about being seen as good at your job by your boss — and the bosses of your competitors.

Find the Right Mentor

You might not have had a mentor at school, but learning from others with more experience and wisdom is just as important after you graduate when you’re developing a career and even once you’ve established your career. If you don’t have a mentor, look around and find one, because he/she can make a huge difference to your future.


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