To kick off 2015 we asked our Naked tribe...
‘What is the biggest career lesson your wish you knew in your 20’s?’
The response was overwhelming, enlightening and inspiring and these are the 15 best lessons from your 20's for 2015. Whether you are still in that glorious decade, older or even younger, there are some true gems here for all of us.
1. CARVE YOUR OWN PATH
"There isn’t that much difference between school life & work life, there is still ladder to climb, you just have to choose if it’s for yourself or someone else.”
Leah, 32, Entrepreneur
2. GET PERFECT IN PUBLIC
"Do it and fix it as you go. I used to be obsessed with planning, sketching out every detail, list making and trying to be super prepared before I started a task. Being so caught up in the initial planning stage always made it super difficult to actually begin a task, and of course led to more procrastination! Most of the time, you can't really predict an outcome, so just dive in and run with what you've got, and fix/tweak stuff as you go along.”
Blair, 32, Corporate Event Manager
3. BE UPFRONT
“You will never lose people’s respect by asking too many questions. Get in there, ask silly questions, offer to help… This is the only way you will learn the ropes of any business and get to where you want to be.”
Annabelle, 29, Fashion Designer
4. BE AUTHENTIC...
“I wish I knew that it's ok to bring your real self to work. It would have saved me a lot of pain. I found that once I dropped the "mask" I could unleash my creativity, make decisions quickly and found work-life more enjoyable.”
Meg, 39, Senior Project Manager
5. BE HUMBLE
”In my early 20s I wish I'd had more humility and understood how essential both continuous learning and self-improvement are towards achieving goals. And that it is OK to be wrong sometimes!!”.
Lauren, Venue Manager & Event Co-ordinator
6. BACK YOURSELF!
“When I first started I didn’t have the confidence in my ability and would compare myself to other team members who were guns. I was doing well too, I just didn’t back myself the way I did the people around me. You often have to learn the hard way by being thrown in the deep end and I wish I’d recognised how capable I was back then so that I would push myself further."
Liv, 32, Marketing Director
7. KNOW IT'S A LONG ROAD...
“The career path I was focused on in my 20's didn’t have to be the same for when I reached my 30's. You may only focus on that particular path for 10, 5 or even 2 years. All of my peers in their 30's have a totally different view on which direction they would like their career to head now. Many of them have gone back to study again, completely changed industries and roles, and many have started their own business. I would advise myself in my 20's to only focus on 2 years ahead and not 10 years ahead.”
Sarah, 32, Legal Events
8. NO PRESSURE, NO DIAMONDS
“In hindsight, a difficult and horrible manager that makes your worklife an absolute hell is possibly one of the biggest catalyst in helping you become a more resilient and capable worker and thus, person. No pressure, no diamonds.”
Joletta, 34, Business Banker
10. KNOW THAT UNI IS ONLY ONE OPTION...
"I wish I knew that I didn’t have to go to university to be successful. I didn’t learn a thing and it cost a lot of money for myself and my parents. I also don’t learn well sitting in a lecture theatre or reading textbooks. I learn by doing and I think a lot of people are the same. I also left with a $30,000 HECS debt which took me a long time to pay off and for something that didn’t really teach me anything, it was a waste of money. It took me all of my 20’s to work out what I wanted to do - We need to make it okay for young people to explore different avenues without committing vast sums of time and money.”
Chiquita, 34, General Manager
11. OWN YOUR OWN DEVELOPMENT
"Networking and building strong relationships and developing soft skills can be more beneficial than getting good grades at University (this is where working in a bar can definitely help) AND Even though working in hospitality is fun, try also getting some more practical experience in an office to build up your CV. For me, I wish I had done at least 1-2 days per week in a creative agency, even just photocopying work.”
Lucy, 27, PR & Event Manager
12. IF YOU THINK YOU CAN, OF YOU THINK YOU CAN'T, YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT
In my 20’s I visualising success… and relentlessly believing in your own capability. Any ‘but’, or ‘what if’ or ‘I can’t’ is a waste of breath. Believe in yourself and go after it. This belief lead me to consulting to Australia’s most powerful AFL club at the age of 29. There was no time to stop and think about the million reasons that wouldn’t/couldn’t or shouldn’t be a reality.
Alex, 32, Brand Manager
13. ASK FOR FEEDBACK
“I wish I knew how to give, ask for and receive feedback. I feel like I presented a great deal of information to colleagues and it was always 'great.' I wish I knew how to ask for constructive feedback and how to use it to improve my own skills.”
Fran, 31, Primary Teacher & Entrepreneur
14. GET OUT IN THE WORLD
"Go travelling – not for a 1 month Contiki tour in Western Europe that your parents pay for, but go step out of your comfort zone and see parts of the world that change your entire view/perspective of life. It teaches you how to budget money, how to survive in unknown/unfamiliar areas, and how to properly communicate. Spending 5 years (in total) abroad was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Cassie, 40, Architect
.... But don’t go out ALL weekend
"Don’t do anything the night before a work day that you can’t handle that next morning. Turn up in body & mind or don’t turn up at all.”
Kim, 34, Executive Assistant
15. UNDERSTAND THAT THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU
At the end of the day, it all comes down to you. The work you do (or don’t) put in. The choices you make. The risks you take. The quicker you stop attributing blame or responsibility to other people - the more successful (and happy) you will be in your career.”
Genevieve, 27, Head of Media