The first year of my thirties is soon coming to an end. But with that comes the beginning of my journey into launching my own business! So naturally I’m thinking about all the things I wish I knew before starting my career.
There are many instances in our careers where we face certain difficult choices. And we all have those moments of realisation of just how much our choices can impact us in the long run. “If only I had…” or “but I could have…” Then again what would life be if it was full of ‘ifs and buts’?
So rather than dwell on the negatives I thought I would share my personal tips to help anyone starting out in their career.
#1. It’s ok not to know what career you want to go into
For those of you who don’t know, I actually studied music before going into marketing. I soon realised that whilst I loved music, that didn’t mean I would love working in it. I became resentful to the music industry and my passion for music became tainted with how I found the industry.
I was lucky my first role was in marketing – which I loved! The business and marketing part of my degree was my favourite, so I always knew I would go into this field regardless of the industry. This leads me nicely into my next tip…
#2. It’s ok to change career paths
Early on in my career I realised that finding job satisfaction would come at a cost. More accurately, in the form of a lower salary! It’s no secret that the music industry doesn’t pay well. So I made the money-driven choice of focusing on marketing roles within hire paying industries.
This move paid off (pun intended ha!) as I was able to develop skills and get relevant experience without compromising on the money I was earning. Everyone asks me if I think I made the right choice. And I can honestly say, yes!
I realised early on that I never wanted to just work for somebody else. I eventually want to be my own boss, take holidays whenever I want and earn a ton load of money! Yeah, there I said it! Money is important to me and financial stability is a personal goal that I’m sure most people have.
#3. Prioritise your wants and needs when starting your career
There’s nothing wrong with me prioritising the things that are important to you. Everyone thinks you should compromise what you want and just stay put in order to move up the career ladder. But that’s not always the case. Don’t be afraid to look at other options or just ask for what you want. Believe me you always have other choices!
#4. Don’t be afraid of change
Change is good. Change is positive. How do we expect to develop or grow without changing? When it comes to your career, change can be daunting. But out of change comes new opportunities – and what’s not exciting about that? This is definitely something I wish I knew before I started my career.
#5. Things that seem too good to be true, usually aren’t… And vice versa
Again, another tip I definitely wish I knew much earlier. There have been instances where I admit I rushed into decisions because it seemed too good to be true. Whilst I encourage embracing change, I also believe that every decision you make should be well-considered.
#6. Don’t stop learning
It was actually from an interview early on in my career, that I realised how important this was. An interviewer asked me how I kept up to date with trends in the industry. And I was stumped. I wasn’t keeping up to date with the industry. Even simply reading industry news or blogs would have been enough. Such an easy habit but with huge potential for positive impact!
This is one tip I keep repeating to anyone and everyone on my team. To put it into perspective, imagine for every year you are working and “gaining” experience, the industry around you continues to change and evolve. And if you don’t keep up, every year, there will be an army of fresh-faced grads willing to work for a lot less but with the latest knowledge and skills you don’t have.
#7. It’s never too late to start something new
This last and final point I’m only learning now as I am about to start something new myself. As I mentioned earlier, I’m starting my own business! I currently work in digital PR so work with bloggers, influencers and press. Some people might question why I want to take this on when I have a good job and enjoy what I do. But like I said, it’s never too late to start…
Whilst it’s both scary and exciting, I’m finally getting closer to living out my dreams. So watch this space and be sure to look out for more info on my upcoming business launch.
Do you have any tips you wish you knew before you started your career?