Monday, February 20, 2012

Career Advice from James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States

Guessing most of you are like, um who?  So, first a quick summary.  James K. Polk was the 11th President of the United States and has pretty much been lost in history due to far more famous presidents like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and others.  I just finished reading a biography about Polk and found him fascinating.  Tons of accomplishments and what amazed me the most was that he committed to being a one-term President...and despite his success..he stuck to that pledge.  You can read a bunch more about him on Wikipedia or pick a book on him here I actually found a few recruiting and career tips from, here we go:

Say what you are going to do, and do it - Polk ran on a pretty straightforward platform.  He was going to annex Texas and Oregon, reform the tariff system and redefine the banking system of the country.  And he did.  Pretty amazing when you think of politicians today who say one thing and do another...but whatever, this isn’t a political blog.  The lesson, he told everyone what he was going to do before getting the job and then came through on that promise.  So, when you take a new job and you make commitments during the interview process stick to them and you’ll have happier coworkers.

Time fades all accomplishments, no matter how great - Did you know Polk expanded the size of the US more than Jefferson?  Think about that, the Louisiana Purchase that we all study in school is actually smaller than what Polk acquired....who knew?  The lesson, no matter what you do in a job, time will fade your accomplishments.  So, if you want to have a truly great have to keep doing great things.  One great accomplishment does not make a great makes a flash in the pan.  Keep pushing hard to do great things in your job and you’ll have a great career.

Your health is more important than your job - Being President pretty much killed Polk.  He left office very sick and died four months after leaving office.  Crazy if you think about it.  The lesson, life is more important than work.  No matter how great or difficult your job, it’s not worth your health.  So, if you find yourself in a job that is literally killing you...get a new one, it’s not worth it.

That’s it, simple yet sweet advice from the 11th President of the United States James K. Polk.  With a little luck I’ll get another post or two up this week.  Until then, good luck out there!


  1. Hi Jeff, just so you know the link your provided for the book is just blank.

    Anyway one of the best as usual.



    1. I completely agree with it.This is really very useful information.

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  2. Thanks guys!! Here is the book I mentioned

    I guess that's what I get for trying to make a few bucks with Amazon Affiliates eh? :)


  3. I'm not a USA citizen, but I found this article very interesting!

    Thank you for sharing

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Polk - great throwback. They don't make politicians like they used to! Thanks for an interesting post.

  6. I imagine this is a massive violation.IT Careers

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