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Stuff My Dad Says

Next time you want to ignore parental advice, remember Rashida Jones.

One of the great universal mysteries: Why don’t children take their parents’ advice? Think back (maybe even as far as last week). At some point, you must have rolled your eyes at something your mom or dad told you—and, in turn, rolled the dice in some of your own decisions.

This wasn’t true for Rashida Jones. When her dad gave her advice, she listened. Now she’s carved out a multifaceted career that led to being chronically in demand and dubbed “The Coolest Girl in Hollywood” by Rolling Stone.

So what was this magical tip? “My dad always encouraged me to be good at more than one thing.”

OK, full disclosure: Rashida Jones’ dad is Quincy Jones one of the sharpest and most successful men in the music industry. But all that still breaks down to a pop wanting his little girl to do well.

In retrospect, Jones, 36, calls it “really good advice” and has lined up achievements that required talents in performing, writing and business hustle. Starting with a Harvard degree in ’97 (never a bad career move), she has acted in dozens of movies and TV shows, co-created a comic book series called Frenemy of the State, worked as a contributing editor to Teen Vogue, and co-written multiple screenplays. One of the most recent was last year’s Celeste and Jesse Forever, in which she also starred.

The main benefit of versatility? “There’s something about splitting your energy and your focus and your education that almost takes the pressure off one thing,” she told Rolling Stone. “It allows you to create something on your own.”

 So here’s a radical idea: The next time one of your parents offers a bit of career advice, don’t roll your eyes. Listen. Think about it, even if it’s a seemingly useless cliché like “work smarter, not harder.” Chances are, no matter what it is, you can apply it to your situation in a productive way. It might not get you named the “coolest” anything, but the end result could be very cool all by itself. 

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