The minute I took my career out of a box and focused on getting the most out of it regardless of whether it was in my line of study or not, I found fulfillment and satisfaction.
Reflecting on your career life is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Whether you need to have a monthly time set aside for it or just a planned daily evaluation. Along the way, you learn very valuable lessons that help shape the direction of your career.
So, what have I discovered along my career journey that I wish to have done differently?
1. Learnt about money
When I got my first job, I was in campus. We all know that campus has its own expenses. From struggling to live and dress a certain way to needing money for book loans and basic upkeep. Besides, your siblings will also expect you to chip in when it comes to their pocket money and food expenses. As such, most of the money earned went into catering for the day-to-day expenses. This of course, meant that there was no way I’d save an extra coin or invest. I wish I had someone who would have guided me on how to go about it and what percentage to save and what to use on expenses.
2. Understood my worth and value
When job hunting, I used to doubt my worth and would compare myself with other candidates. This meant that I would sell myself short. Also, having to do the work and not getting the recognition. Instead, letting those more senior than you ride in the wave of your hard work. Over the years, I have however learnt to sell myself more to potential employers and not leave anything to chance. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?
3. Chasing the paper and the title
There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to get a well-paying job and having a more senior title. Most of the people, however, focus too much on the type of job and the salary that they miss out on very promising opportunities. In the years that I have worked, career growth and fulfillment became my driving force. Money and titles come second. Please, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing that’s wrong with wanting a better job with a fancy title and good pay, but the stress and worry of whether you are doing what is expected and the need to always succeed and have answers to almost everything is real. Find a balance and work with what will help you develop and still stay sane – if you get what I mean.
4. Don’t put yourself and your career in a box
It’s not uncommon to find some of the people you graduated with are still job hunting looking for the perfect jobs. Perfect in the sense that they want a career in their line of study or nothing else. Even though this is desirable, most of them are missing out on great opportunities out here. There is nothing wrong starting out in a career that you didn’t study. Who knows, you might end up liking it. The minute I took my career out of a box and focused on getting the most out of it regardless of whether it was in my line of study or not, I found fulfillment and satisfaction. At the end of the day, what matters most is you making the best out of what you have.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently when you started out in your career? Let us know in the comment section below.