Meet the Author: Guest Interview with Michael Rudden

It's time to meet the mind behind this week's advice! Our latest MSL guest, Michael Rudden, used his own experiences to craft a survival guide for young professionals. Now, Interview Captain Britt MacLeod jumps in to break the ice further with our featured author.


What's your most underrated skill? What is one trait or quality that has served you well, but wouldn't typically wind up on a resume?

         The ability to talk to strangers. I think being able to talk to anyone is a real skill that’s helped me with networking, approaching people I know are higher rank than me (which can be really intimidating!), and making friends and building rapports in both life and work. My mother has always been very outgoing, and she can make friends anywhere – that’s something I really admire and I hope has rubbed off at least a little.

If you could pick one character from the Star Wars universe to be your career mentor, who would you pick and why?

          Definitely Emperor Palpatine. He’s a go-getter who doesn’t let anyone stop him from achieving his wildest dreams. He helped mentor an orphan and was able to help him grow into a management position in government, he’s got experience overseeing large projects with huge scale and impact, and he is able to employ a huge amount of people gainfully in the process. I would love to have had the opportunities he’s provided to so many others, in so many places. He’s a very spiritual and thoughtful man.

How has your career shifted in recent years, after changing both companies and roles?

          What I’ve found is that not every move needs to be an upward one – sometimes you need to move sideways or even take a step back to get where you eventually want to go! I work in technology, and my first job was in a related area to what I do now, but was functionally very different. Having that background and perspective is part of how I was able to move into my current role, and it helps me see things at work through different lenses. For me, that career move was horizontal, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.