Artist. Nurse. Journalist. Vet. You name it, I probably wanted to be it. During my education I experienced so many doubts about what I wanted to do with my career. Every time I came to a decision I was so sure that this was the right path for me, but then the idea of being stuck in a single field for the rest of my life became so daunting that I would change my mind again. Chances are, you have or will experience similar conflicts during your career.
If I could go back a decade and converse with my younger self, there are a few things that I would have appreciated hearing during this time, so here are the 5 things I would have loved to have known:
1. Take the time to discover what you enjoy.
You really do have the time to explore what excites you and question everything. Make self-development a priority. Read more, develop your writing, learn how to be a better storyteller, friend and leader. All these skills will help drive your personal and professional life.
2. Don't make excuses, just go for it!
They say the only regrets you have are the chances you didn't take. Don’t shy away from asking questions: chances are someone else is thinking the same as you. Explore getting a learning companion, that way you can encourage and learn from each other. Also find something that may give you more confidence: no one really knows what they are doing - it just looks like they do.
3. Change is inevitable
There is no getting away from this one - it's a part of life. Learn to accept, adapt and adjust to changes that may arise. There will be moments when you realise your preferences have evolved or you simply have different priorities than you may have had before. It is from these experiences that you can broaden your skills. The design lab has some interesting points on ‘T-Shaped’ skills that expand on this.
4. Experience, experience and more experience!
This is so important, not only in your career but for personal development too. Seek, grasp and take up as many opportunities and adventures as you can. Utilise opportunities that will not only help you to grow but also that you will enjoy.
5. It will all work out in the end
We’ve all probably heard this at least once in our lifetimes - but it really is true. If you have a dream, don’t just dream it. Put an action plan together and then go for it! Don’t let your fears hold you back from achieving your full potential.
The truth is we are always learning, every single day, and as I have progressed through my career I have realised that the following qualities will take you a long way to achieving your goals.
- Be brave and take bold and decisive action to reach your goals.
- Be imaginative, looking beyond the present, and introduce new ways of thinking and working.
- Be decent by listening, encouraging and respecting your peers.
- Last but not by any means least, be accountable for your decisions: if you put in the work you're already halfway there!
Since I’m still learning from everyone, I’d love to hear your views on the matter. It doesn’t matter how old are you, what’s one thing you’d tell the younger version of yourself?