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January 11, 2023

What Career Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Natalie Benfell


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As the world chimes in another new year and the holiday decorations head back to the attic, I like to take a moment to reflect on the past year. What have I achieved, and what lessons have I learned along the way? It's become a bit of a tradition, and with each year's passing, I've collected a small treasure trove of advice and musings. It has also helped me see how far I've come since starting my marketing career nearly 10 years ago.

Looking Back – Your Top Tips!

There's so much I've learned personally and professionally, a lot of which would have come in handy at the start of my career! So, with this in mind, I asked our followers "What career advice would you give your younger self?"

Although asking questions and taking risks was top for some, 67 percent of our social media followers said that they would tell their younger selves to believe in themselves. Negative self-talk is very common, but it’s crucial to overcome pessimistic thinking and believe more in ourselves and our abilities.

Many of our followers also chimed in with their own valuable advice that they had gathered throughout their careers.

Listen and Learn

Recruitment Officer, Beata Gowland said to "Remember it's never too late to learn new things." The working landscape is constantly evolving, so make sure that you’re keeping up-to-date with the latest tools, trends and technologies.

In any stage of your career, you can't be expected to know everything. State Manager, John Tan, said that he would tell his younger self to "have purpose and listen to those around you." Take stock of the people around you. You might be surprised how much knowledge they have to share. Listen to others and absorb as much as you can in order to develop and grow throughout your career.

Create a Happy Balance

Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, Simone H, would advise her younger self not to "give up your career completely to raise a family." Balancing work and life can be tricky, especially for women in the workplace. But with the right tools and skills, you can find harmony between the two. You may not even have to choose between work and your personal life – you can have both.

Zala Bricelj on Twitter included four suggestions for striking a good work-life balance.

"Protect your personal boundaries, don't overwork yourself into exhaustion – speak up before that. Be mindful of your work-life balance – hustling won't bring any add value in the long run." And finally, "Work is work, fun is fun."

All good advice – a lot of what I've learned over these past years has to do with work-life balance, and prioritization is a big part of that. For example, my perception of "working hard" is very different now than it was at the start of my career. I know now that you don't have to work long into the night to show your dedication to your job. And that what I once thought was "going the extra mile" was actually just bad time management.

Get Planning

Looking back and reflecting on how far you've come can make you think about what lies ahead. Setting yourself goals that you really want to achieve, and planning out how to reach them, is an energizing and empowering experience, so why not get started now?

The 2023 Life Plan helps examine where you are now, explore your dreams, create powerful goals, and start preparing for the future. Join the Mind Tools Club before January 17 and get our Life Plan workbook for FREE!

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