I saw the question “If you could go back and tell yourself one thing that would help you with your career, what would that be?” posed on one of my LinkedIn Groups and found it thought-provoking and believed if I posed it to my co-workers, the answers given would be helpful to me and to those I help with their Career Development.
Here is a summary of my top 10 favorite responses to the question. I hope you find them helpful, regardless of whether you are starting your career or looking for a change after many years of work.
- FIND YOUR PASSION: Pay attention to your gut instincts about what you like to do and what you do well. Don’t follow a path because it is prestigious, it pays the most or because other people will be impressed. Follow your heart, and you will notice that you will give 100% naturally. Everything else will fall in line.
- PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE: Take a set monthly amount and put it into a retirement fund. Every year, increase it by $10. Set up and contribute to your retirement immediately. Get educated about stock options and how to manage them; set a plan for how and when you want to use them.
- NETWORKING: Network with everyone you meet in your industry. Nurture and build your network and maintain your contact list. If you regularly offer to help others, personally or professionally, good things come back to you!
- MENTORS: Always have a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t know something or are struggling with a project, ask for help. People are friendlier than you think.
- KEEP LEARNING: Do not be afraid of what you don’t know. It is okay to admit you don’t know or understand something. You cannot learn if you do not ask. Keep learning – even if it has nothing to do with your current job or project. Expand your horizons by learning about your industry, additional skills, or anything that awakens your curiosity. What seems irrelevant in your resume is simply before its time.
- POSITIVITY: Protect yourself from negative people, influencers, or stressors by keeping a positive outlook.
- FOCUS: Focus on what you can change. Understand what is in your control, and then ACT on it! Learn to say no to things you do not believe in or have no passion for. Do the thing that you love.
- BALANCE: There’s a lot more to life than your work. Make time, or you will never “find” the time for people and causes important to you. Care for your family and yourself. Have fun.
- BE HUMBLE: Lose your ego! The ego prevents leaders from effectively connecting to others and seeing their points of view. The ego alienates you from the world. Humble yourself (no one is always right), reach out and help others first; you will get tenfold in return.
- FORGIVENESS: Forgive others and especially learn to forgive yourself. Permit yourself to make mistakes.
Do you have anything you would add to the list?