As someone who stumbled from job to job during my twenties I wish my 50 year old self had stepped back in time and given me some much-needed guidance, like the tips in the article. But then we live and learn from our mistakes. And I'm lucky that after a few years off work, first to work on my mental health and then to have a child, I now have a genuine "do-over" opportunity.
I'm sure aged 50 I will have even more to say, but at the grand old age of (almost) 35, what pearls of wisdom would I share with my 21 year old self? Or, put another way, how will I approach the world of work differently now?
1. Self-worth is not measured by the fullness of your social calendar.
2. Other people's success (financial, renown, or otherwise) is of little to no concern.
3. You "need" a whole lot less material things than you might think - if you can't escape with a suitcase you're doing something wrong.
4. The people you fear "letting down" are proud of you already - you only ever had to show up.
5. Never be ashamed to admit you don't know the answer. Being open and asking for help will save you a lot of embarrassment in the long run.
6. You don't always have to love what you do, but if you can't look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day it might be time to move on. Ditto respect for your coworkers and managers.
7. If you can't be anything else, just be kind. People will forget almost everything else you do, but will always remember an act of kindness.
This last one comes from The Husband:
8. Always manage expectations. It is better to pleasantly surprise a client or manager, than to let anyone down. (The Husband has an impressive range of techniques for this - he has been known to sit on finished drafts of work, just so as not to over-deliver and provide time for more deadlines to be set!)