Human Resources

C-Suite career advice: Dan T. Pickett, nfrastructure

We ask industry leading C-suite professionals for their expert career advice...


  Name: Dan T. Pickett

  Company: nfrastructure

  Job Title: Chairman and CEO

  Location: Saratoga Springs, New York, USA


What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?

The best advice I ever received came from my uncle around the start of my career. Over dinner with my family, he relayed that the key to success lies in remaining loyal to your partners and associates and fulfilling your obligations in a timely manner. His advice was heartfelt and made perfect sense. I understood it on the spot. It proved to be even more valuable as I climbed the ranks of management and was able to “live” it.


What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?

The worst advice I ever received was that loyalty is overrated. It was an incredibly short-sighted piece of “advice.” Any plan operating on such a tenet would be completely unsustainable.


What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?

I would tell anyone starting a career in the tech industry to first identify a company they admire – preferably, one with a story they can embrace. When pinpointing that organization, I’d tell them not to focus on the positions available, but instead, what excites them most about the organization and why they would be an asset. Once they break into that company, I’d advise them to take on as many responsibilities as possible in order to truly learn what roles they excel in and are passionate about. 


What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?

Those aiming for c-level positions should remember to consistently lead by example and always act as an evangelist for their organization. In addition, a vital skill required of any chief executive is the ability to meet both short and long-term goals while staying true to a company’s vision for the future. Those aspiring to a role in the c-suite should keep this in mind as they climb the corporate ladder.


Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?

The career advice I’ve delivered that I’m most proud is for entrepreneurs in the process of building their business – when setting priorities, time dedicated to maintaining professional relationships needs to fall between “critical” and “absolutely everything.”   The beginning of every entrepreneur’s journey must start with identifying the relationships that have the potential to help you meet your professional goals. Focus there – on quality versus quantity – and then consider the benefit your friendship can deliver to those individuals so a two-way street of learning and respect can be established.  


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