Lessons Learned: 3 Career Mistakes I Made In My 20's
I worked hard in my 20's. So hard. Look, I'm incredibly proud of my career path - it has gotten me to where I am today. But in the spirit of this blog - sharing what I wish someone had told me - I'll tell you a few of the career regrets I have from my first years in the work world:
1) I worked too much. Believe this: you will NOT be promoted or get a raise because you stay late or work weekends. Your career success has everything to do with the big, meaningful wins. Not the hours logged. I skipped happy hours with friends to stay late at work. I left Sunday brunch and went to the office to "get a few hours in" (this was before laptops). Here's the deal: kill it every day at work. Then leave. Have a life. When you're at work, focus on meaningful and results-based work.
2) I Didn't Eat the Frog. I didn't make this saying up, but it's a favorite. Essentially "eating the frog" means doing the thing you want to do least first thing in the morning. That might be a client call you're avoiding. An expense report you're dreading. A new project that you need to try for the first time. Just do it. I spent so much time in my 20's avoiding the work or people that scared me. Dive in. Who cares if you mess up? Chances are, you won't and you'll feel so much lighter and happier each day knowing you got the hardest part out of the way. Smooth sailing!
3) I Didn't Speak Up. There were many times when I wanted to speak up at work. But I didn't. I was scared I would get in trouble for sharing my honest thoughts. Hear this: you will never get fired for speaking your truth. You may open up some interesting conversations, but you have real things to say. Smart thoughts. Don't quiet that voice. Speak up!