What would be the 1 piece of advice you'd give to someone who is 24, 6 months into a career he loves?

What would be the 1 piece advice you’d give to someone who is 24, 6 months into a career he loves –@vjtorres11

I’ll just tell you from my experience. I started at HBO and I wanted to succeed at it. I was a “Junior Programmer Analyst” in the IT Department. But I loved HBO, the whole company, not just IT. And I loved the whole entertainment industry. I wanted to succeed beyond “just” being a tiny analyst in the IT department, playing with Excel spreadsheets and Unix programming.

I read everything I could about the industry. All of the major players at the time: Ted Turner, Murdoch, Michael Eisenberg, Jerry Levin. All of the mergers that had taken 80 years to form the industry. I read every book even though it had nothing to do with IT.

I read over and over about the history of HBO. How it started, how it became the first cable network to transmit up through satellite (thanks to Jerry Levine who later became the CEO of all of Time Warner). I learned all the bios of the top execcutives and how they built their careers (for instance, selling HBO door to door in remote areas of the country whenever Showtime opened up in that area of the country).

I went to the video tape library every day and watched every show ever on HBO. I lied and said I need to see them for work. I went to seminars about how HBO picked its slogan (“It’s not TV, it’s HBO”). I went to seminars at the Museum of Television and Radio. I spent weekends at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

Get to the point that when you say “we” you are not just speaking for your own identity but for the identity of your company, your bosses, your entire industry.

Then quit.

Now you can fill the gaps that are in your industry. Now you can succeed.