Everyone says, you really live life in your thirties – and it’s true.
I feel like in your teens; you’re literally clueless (& think you know better), in your 20’s; you’re figuring things out, but in your thirties; you know better. You’ve experienced things, you’ve learned.
I remember feeling so much pressure (in my 20’s) – to get educated, gain experience & get to work. I was so scared of making a ‘wrong’ decision and wasting my time, but what I realize now is that every decision had a hand in leading me to where I am today (& to where I continue to work towards). I’m someone who believes that everything happens for a reason, but you have to be willing to be open and put yourself out there. Try things out, see what you like and what you could live without. Through trying a bunch of different jobs / roles I gained so much experience that has been crucial to my personal & professional development, to this day.
The honest truth, is that life is exactly what you make it. YOU decide. I think if I was met with that advice in my early 20’s I would have shed a lot of uncertainty. There is no one way to get anywhere and you and only you can decide the route that might be best to take. Not what sally did ten years ago, not what your uncle jim suggests, not what the rest of your peers who you graduated from high school with, think you should be doing – only YOU. I’d say, don’t hold back, NEVER settle and live your life to the fullest. Find the little joys in everyday and celebrate your win’s, your losses AND your failures, because in the end, that’s how you learn.
Anyway…here’s some advice I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out in my 20’s.
ADVICE I’D GIVE MY YOUNGER SELF:
+ stop focusing on what everyone else is doing & pay attention to the things that really excite you (like that you would gladly do, regardless of $). take note of these things and follow the bread crumbs. chip away at that everyday.
+ focus on your vision & don’t get frustrated if it takes longer to execute than you expect – you’re gaining valuable lessons & experience in the meantime. it’s important to trust the timing of your life.
+ take chances. now’s your time to do it. once you learn that you actually dislike something, or that it’s no longer working for you, (ie; job/boyfriend/friend) don’t be afraid to make adjustments.
+ think outside the box, use your creativity and find opportunities where you can be different. being different & unique is probably one of the most interesting qualities you can have. IMO it shows major confidence.
+ keep as many ‘doors’ open as you can, it’s always nice to have options and you can always say ‘no’ if something doesn’t feel like the right fit.
+ use technology to your advantage – instead of mindlessly posting to social & consuming other ppls content, figure out how you can use these platforms to demonstrate your body of work. ie: create a website to house examples of your work or open a new Instagram account to showcase your portfolio. you’re smart! figure it out. but I feel like having free marketing tools at your fingertips is a sure head-start.
+ intern if you can! I completed 2 work-terms at 2 different companies (Vancouver/NYC) while I was attending school and it was such a positive experience that not only added to my resume and skillset, but also rounded out my education with experience. it’s a great way to not only find ‘what’ you want in a company but also where you could see yourself moving forward.
+ get out there. you can’t do it all sitting from your computer. I mean, there is ALOT you can accomplish using tech but ultimately business is about relationship building. find people in your circle or community that you can reach out to for questions, advice & mentorship. if you’ve got your eye on companies or brands you’d love to work for, find ways to reach out or send a clever & creative PR mailer to get their attention.
+ be social, while you’re at it! your 20’s are THE TIME to be carefree & enjoy life free from total responsibility. I’m so glad that I made sure to have fun in my 20’s. Some of my best memories are with my girlfriends from my 20’s, of nights out, laughing uncontrollably, dancing literal nights away… you only live once and as you get older your whole perspective changes (you couldn’t pay me to go clubbing these days) so live it up while you can.
+ stay humble & always be kind. you never know who you might be talking to and you never know who ppl will grow into. it’s so important to be kind and someone who is seen as approachable + reliable.