Guest Post: Kim Gallagher – Career Advice from Tucker Carlson, Sam Donaldson and my manager at Wendy’s

Career Advice from Tucker Carlson, Sam Donaldson and my manager at Wendy’s.

In my early teens, career advice from my manager at Wendy’s:

“Wear a hairnet. Get the orders right. And clean out the Frosty machine every night.”

In my mid-teens, career advice from my dad:

“Do what you love. Because if you’re going to be any good at it, you’ll need to do it more than 40 hours a week.”

In my late teens, career advice from Mr. Fritz, my high school chemistry teacher:

“Be a writer. If you can make something like science come to life for people, you will always have a job.”

In my early 20s, career advice from Sam Donaldson:

“Kimberley, do you think my first job was being an ABC news anchor? NO. I was a Captain in the Army. Then I worked at a small station in Dallas. No one in New York would hire me, so my next job was a local station in Washington, D.C. And do you know what I found out? As insignificant as a job seemed at the time, looking back I see that each one taught me important things and led to where I am today. They are all stepping stones. So be patient. Learn what you can, don’t underestimate its value, then move on.”

In my mid 20s, career advice from my first art director:

“Thank God you’re here to catch all the grammical errors.” (that’s not a typo)

In my mid 20s, career advice from my first creative director:

“Want to do great work? Stop doing bad work.”

In my late 20s, career advice from another creative director:

“Never stay with any agency longer than two or three years unless you have equity.”

In my early 30s, career advice from Jillian Poole, the director of development for The Kennedy Center:

“Remember: when you’re the only woman in the room, you’re also the only one they can kiss on the cheek.”

In my mid 30s, career advice from yet another creative director:

“Go on the interview. You’ll either find that it’s the right move for you. Or find that you really love where you are and want to stay. Either way, you’ll work happier.”

In my late 30s, career advice from an art director partner:

“Go freelance so you can spend more time with your kids.”

In my early 40s, career advice from a mother with older children:

“Work outside of the home now. Because once they’re teenagers, you won’t be able to leave them alone.”

In my late 40s, career advice from Tucker Carlson:

“I’ve never been as unhappy as when I’ve written a book.”

In my 50s, career advice from another art director partner:

“Go for the great 401K.”

In my 50s, career advice from my husband:

“Don’t sell your soul.”

An advertising creative director and writer, Kim lives in Alexandria, Virginia. Originally published at on March 11, 2015.

Read more of Kim’s work at

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