David Airey’s blog has a nice excerpt from small NYC based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh’s answers page. The section on advice for students gives the following tips for young designers, but they’re applicable to starting out and succeeding in most professions.
The parts that most ring true to me are:
One of the most valuable things you can do when you are young is learning from people who are creating the work you want to be making one day.
Don’t try to be good at everything. No one is great at everything. Instead, collaborate with people who inspire you, who are smarter than you, who will challenge you to learn and grow and see things from a new perspective.
Other keys to being a great designer are experiences and empathy; they help you understand how to communicate with many different people. So diversify your experiences.
Don’t be an asshole or an egomaniac. When I am hiring, besides talent and work ethic, I look to hire nice people. Life is too short to work with people who make everything difficult or try to make everything about themselves.