1. Get to know who you really are.
Start asking yourself what you really want. Try to imagine the ideal life for you. And then make it as your goal to arrive in that dream destination of yours. It’s easier to navigate life when you know exactly the desires of your heart. The only person who gets to decide about which journey you should be trekking on is you. Not the society or anyone in your life. You’re the one who truly understands yourself. So pay attention to what your gut is telling you.
2. There’s no need to rush.
You’re probably not going to reach your highest peak in two to three years. And there’s no reason for you to freak out about it. Everyone starts small. Most of the time, you will find yourself on the lowest part of the totem pole during the early stage of your career. The universe isn’t being unfair to you when this happens. Your current situation is only a reminder that in order for you to advance in life, you have to work hard like pretty much all the people around you.
3. Where you are right now isn’t where you’ll end up.
There’s a chance that you will be in a company that you don’t like. Working in a place that doesn’t ignite sparks in you will make you feel crappy. You will question your decisions. You will look in the mirror and be terrified to admit that you no longer know the person staring back at you. It will be a hell of an experience. But remember that where you are in this moment isn’t where you’ll be forever. Things will change. Something out of your control will happen. And next thing you know, your feet will land somewhere better.
4. You’re not supposed to have it all figured out.
Apart from your major ambitions, you’re not really expected to know how your entire life is going to paint out. You don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t have a step-by-step plan in achieving your goals. Because you have no way of obtaining a concrete idea about what tomorrow is going to look like. All you need to do is to make efforts today and hope that all your sacrifices and patience will pay off in the future. Worrying so much about the things that are yet to happen will only slow you down.
5. Don’t let your insecurities bug you.
Comparing yourself against someone who has years of experience is pointless. When you peek at someone’s plate and notice that they have bigger ones, you will end up feeling small and discouraged. Remember that you are just starting out. And there’s so much more for you to learn and experience before you can have what these other people have. You need to focus all your attention to yourself and stop measuring your achievements through someone else’s standards. We are all different. Your definition of success might not be the same as the other person next to you.
6. Work with people who nourish you.
You need to be careful with who you surround yourself, especially when you’re in the process of building up your career. The last thing that you want is to be stuck in a group that makes you doubt your abilities and skills. Find the people who will support you in each stage of your career, and respect you for your decisions. They will be your guide when you suddenly feel confused about the path that you’re taking. It’s great to do everything on your own. But the truth is that you will be needing help too sometimes.
7. Study the lives of successful people.
Learning doesn’t stop just because you already finished college. In fact, you will gain more powerful lessons outside the academia — things your professors or teachers forgot to warn you and tell you. There’s nothing that you will lose in making a research about the people who are doing well in your industry and looking at how they become so accomplished. Study the techniques that they’ve used to help them get to where they are right now. And try to incorporate them in your work ethic. You will be surprised to uncover a huge improvement in the way you deal adversities in your career.
8. One big bad decision will not haunt you forever.
No matter how smart and strategic you think you are, at some point, you will make dumb moves. You will be overly emotional once in a while. You will hate yourself for not dedicating extra time before coming up with a decision. But just so you know, you’re not the only one who goes through these dilemmas. Everyone of us has limitations. Nobody is really strong all the time. People get tired. And making one huge mistake will not kill you. The best thing that you can do is learn from it, forgive yourself, and then grow.
9. Just keep moving forward.
When I was 21 years old, I had a boss who would always point out via emails the rookie mistakes that I did in my job. The thing about him was that he didn’t know how to sugar coat words. He’d blatantly tell me what he liked and didn’t like about my outputs. At the end of his email though, he’d always write: Let’s keep moving forward. And that advice stuck with me ever since. I think that a lot of times we’re so quick in beating ourselves up when we made a mess, when our expectations didn’t align with our realities. But what we forget is that downfalls are part of our lives. What important is that we stand back up and keep going forward after each failure.
10. Go be young.
The moment that you step your foot at home, remember the person that you are outside of your work. It’s respectable to dedicate most of your energy in what you do for a living, but please know that your job does not wholly define you. There’s an entirely different persona living inside of you before adulthood swept your childhood days away. Don’t let your soul disconnects from you. It is okay to be silly with the people that you love and trust. Give yourself the permission to be young and see the world through the lens of someone who’s wild and carefree. When everything’s over and done, take your mask off and live the kind of life that is true and authentic to you. Never ever deprive yourself the chance to experience and feel the things that truly matter on this earth.