9 Work and Life Tips for the younger me

What work and life advice would you give the younger you?

If you could talk to yourself when you were in your early 20s, and entering the world of work and the world of relationships, what advice would you give yourself?

I think we have all learnt some great life lessons along the way and I personally would have appreciated a few tips.

Here are my 9 work and life tips for the younger me:

  1. Don’t lock in your career too early – when I did my HSC in Year 12, I wanted to be a physiotherapist. I got a good TER result but not enough for physio so I chose to do a Bachelor of Business to keep my options open. Now looking back, I was pretty young and was still learning about the true me. I’ve now done many commercial roles such as project management, sales, category management and marketing. Over time you learn more about the real you.  I have learnt I am a strategy, planning and creative person and definitely not a physio. Take time to understand yourself and keep your options open as you grow and learn more about yourself.
  2. Work in different industries – I have learnt so much from working in the airlines (Ansett Australia and Air New Zealand), FMCG and now OTC Pharmaceuticals. You meet lots of great people and can have some amazing experiences that give you a very different view of the world.
  3. Keep your energy but control your patience – you can gain a lot of knowledge from those around you and those with many years of in business experience. When we are younger, we want everything quickly and often lack patience to hang in and truly learn. It is worth it, so take a breath and slow things down a little.
  4. Stay in touch with friends – friends are really important through the different stages of your life so don’t underestimate this. Yes, friends change, some drift away and new ones come along but over time your true friends stay constant. This is how we all stay sane and supported and you will need this to really enjoy life
  5. Don’t underestimate the power of Networking – the cliché ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, while annoying is actually true. Yes, you should get there on your merits but sometimes knowing the right people, who may also know other people, can open doors to conversations and opportunities you may never have known about. Just saying….
  6. Find a mentor in business – this is something I have done more recently and wish I had done this much earlier. It is great to have someone to touch base with on business and leadership issues and seek guidance on business and career ideas. I think for females as well if you can find a fellow female leader you admire and ask them to be a mentor, you will learn so much.
  7. You determine your career – you can make life what you want it to be. You will find in life that YOU determine your future aspirations. Others will simply help (or hinder) your success in achieving your goals. You are the only one who can truly put yourself out there for opportunities and push for what you want. Don’t wait for someone else to take interest and drive it for you…it won’t happen (unless you are incredibly lucky). In business these days, everyone is so busy, your career is clearly up to you and you own the plan to get where you want to go. Go for it and you can be whatever you want to be!
  8. Work overseas – When you lock in a mortgage and add in a family, life gets a lot more complicated to geographically move. Global job opportunities are getting harder to come by and the financial benefit is limited. If you get this opportunity when you are single and mortgage free, take it and soak it up. You can always come home later but you will be richer personally and professionally for the experience.
  9. Embrace change – Change is inevitable so be open to it and this will be easier to accept and adapt to. Sounds easy but trust me, in business, the only certainty is change. In my profession marketing, for example, I have seen massive change over the past few years with the move away from TVC campaigns with introduction of digital marketing. This has completely changed the way we communicate with consumers and the pace of change is fast. I’m loving the change and I’m learning new skills. The reality is though, that you do need to stay up with the changes to maintain relevancy in the fast-paced marketplace. It is exciting so embrace it and try not to fear it.

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