How to Make a Career at Disney, or Any Company

I was listening to an interview with Lee Cockerell.  Lee is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort.  This is his advice for making a career at Disney.

Get in early (meaning when you’re young) and STAY.  Disney often promotes from within, so once you’re in, show them what you can do, and look for opportunities.  Of course, you have to be hard working, prove that you are valuable to the company, and have a clear idea of what you want to do.  If you’re not exactly sure what you want to do, you can figure that out once you’re already in.

Actually, this method can work for other companies too, especially if the company promotes from within.  If you are young person who is just starting to figure out your career, or even a high school or college student, go to a company that you’re interested in working for, ask them what you need to do to get a job there, show your enthusiasm for working for them, and ask if they are likely to promote from within.

Then do whatever it takes to get a job in that company, even if it’s starting at the bottom.  Once you’re in, show them what you can do, and look for opportunities to do what you really want to do, the opportunities will come if you keep looking for them.  This may take years, but if it’s a company you really want to work for, you have to think of it as a long term or even a life long career.  That’s how you can get your dream job.

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