Dolly Parton is known for many things but is perhaps not the first person that comes to mind in terms of career advice. A Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, author, actress, producer, businesswoman and philanthropist as well as being something of a motivational speaker, Parton has a wealth of experience that she shares with her audiences through softly her spoken Southern witticisms.
Below are a collection of some of her most pertinent quotes and how they can help you along with your career journey!
“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
Sometimes you have to weather the storm to build resilience. Job hunting in particular can feel like a thankless task. Dozens of applications sent out, painstakingly completed only to receive no reply. Yet that rejection can be a source of strength for the future. It will force you to re-evaluate and assess where your strengths lie you will be in a stronger position moving forward!
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”
All-in-all, we all spend a lot of time at work, which is why it’s important to do something that you feel passionate about. If your current trajectory isn’t making you happy then take steps to change it – look at small measurable ways you can alter your situation and start ‘paving’ another road.
“I thank God for my failures. Maybe not at the time but after some reflection. I never feel like a failure just because something I tried has failed.”
Failing at something can feel terrible but actually can be an incredibly positive and fruitful experience if you think about it in the right way. People rarely make the same mistake more than twice because failure compounds what works and what doesn’t in a given circumstance. Reframe failure as an opportunity to grow and develop yourself via reflecting on what went wrong and how it could be avoided. More than this however, don’t be afraid to fail!
“When I’ve got somethin’ to say, I’ll say it.”
Dolly’s never been one to mince her words, and there’s a lot to be said for speaking your frank and honest mind. If something doesn’t seem right to you, call it out; if something seems like it could be improved then don’t keep it to yourself!#
“We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.”
Being adaptable is another keystone of success! Being flexible in your approach to things reduces stress, increases productivity and often leads to personal and professional development opportunities. Sometimes something you think you’ll hate, or be bad at, turns out to be enjoyable or you discover plays to your strengths. Dolly’s career goes to show that being flexible in your approach to things can have positive results!
“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!”
Arguably the most famous Dollyism, what’s worth taking from this is that you need to invest in yourself. You gotta sink time, effort and sometimes money into self-development in order to succeed. People rarely see the massive amount of substance that goes into success and instead focus on the goal – keep in mind all that goes into making a success of anything!
“Find out what you are. And do it on purpose.”
Only you really know what makes you happy, what you enjoy and what you excel at! Find out what you love to do, do it well and succeed! For most people it takes a long time to figure out exactly where their talents lie but take the time to do so – it can take weeks, months or years, and is a continuous process – and success will be yours!
If you’re feeling inspired, come by the Careers Zone in SL62, Paul Webley Wing to start discussing your next steps after SOAS – whatever they may be.
James Hallett, Volunteering Advisor