When you're just starting your career, you'll get a lot of advice. It will come--both solicited and unsolicited--from your parents, teachers, friends, counselors and, of course, the adults you meet while interning and working. Everyone loves telling soon-to-be or recent graduates what they should look for in a job opportunity.

Earlier this year, my co-founder (and fellow Inc. columnist) Frederic Kerrest and I got the chance to share lessons from our experiences with Okta's group of 30 interns. When you're in the "freshman year of life," faced with a menu of options and a surplus of advice, here are a few things to keep in mind. (It may be unsolicited, but it's also free, so enjoy.)

1. Recognize others' biases.

Everything I write, all of the advice I'm about to give you, is inherently biased. It comes from my 20 years of experience in technology, both as an engineer and an executive. And everyone else counseling you will pull from their own experiences in order to do so. They may even have a stake in the game. The head of your internship program probably wants to persuade you to stay on full time. Pride might motivate your grandfather to pressure you to attend his alma mater for business school. The key to successfully navigating the advice coming your way is to recognize your mentors' biases and agendas and know that ultimately, your career decisions are yours--and yours alone--to make.

2. Choose the organization, not the role.

Regardless of age or work experience, people tend to put far too much emphasis on their potential titles and compensation. The success of the organization you join and your belief in it should have equal, or even more weight. If your company grows and succeeds, you will too. If your company fades into oblivion, you'll have to start over. That's why the title and salary shouldn't be the deciding factors--they change as time goes on. Choosing a successful organization will afford you access to intelligent and experienced co-workers and managers, ample resources and room for growth that will have ripple effects for years to come.

3. Work on the core product.

If you're going to work for a big company, work on its core offering. Companies invest the most in their money makers, so when you're working on the core product, your team will be stacked with folks you can learn from, and there will be more opportunities for growth. So if it's your dream to work at Google, make it your dream to work on Search. If you're going to work for Salesforce, get yourself on CRM. For Cisco, make it switching and routing. That's where the opportunities will abound.

4. Take something with you when you leave.

I don't mean a branded sweatshirt. Never leave an internship (or any position, for that matter) without a portfolio of what you've learned and who you met. Make a list of things you accomplished to cite in future interviews, connect with your colleagues and peers on LinkedIn and grab coffee with people you admire--you'll likely meet again or seek out their expertise down the road.

As you're edging your way into the job market, seek out the counsel of mentors, co-workers and friends. Just take every piece of advice with a grain of salt--mine included. What I can tell you from experience is that if you prioritize the organization's success, and work on the company's core offering, you'll set yourself up for success in the long-term.