Don’t you sometimes wish that time machines were real? I know that I do. Seriously, think about what would happen if you could travel back to your younger years and give yourself a little heads-up about what was going to come.
That time you decided to take the double-dog dare and eat all of those ghost peppers. The time you dated that guy who wore overalls “ironically.” The time you thought it was a good idea to dread that piece of your hair and cut your own bangs!
Think about all the pain and embarrassment you could avoid with a little foresight!
Unfortunately, we haven’t quite figured out the whole time travel deal, but I am happy to say that I have the next best thing. I’ve asked around and compiled some of the best advice that coworkers and friends have gotten early on in their careers.
Having access to these words of wisdom may not stop you from making a few mistakes along the way, but it certainly will help pave the road to success.
So, without further ado, here is the advice you should hear before starting your career journey.
Elizabeth Boykin, Talent Solutions Coordinator
“My dad always told me before interviews that, ‘The employer has already seen people and rejected them. That’s half the battle. Now you just have to confirm their feelings.’ It helped me feel less nervous about the interviews. Most companies only ask for in-person interviews because they think you, as a candidate, are worth their time. After that, all you have to do as a candidate is confirm that you are worth their time to get the job.”
Jordan Ozaki, Legislative Aide for Hawai’i State Legislature
“Join a non-college organization while in school. While university societies and clubs are great, joining a community organization is a great way to expand your circle and a good segue into the professional world.”
Saan Saeteurn, Software Engineer
“Keep in touch with your professors and academic department advisors, especially in your senior year. This is because local companies can reach out directly to the department to have their internship positions listed or sometimes they ask professors to recommend their top students for the internships. The key here is to obtain an internship BEFORE you graduate, not after.”
Philip De Coy, Talent Solutions Coordinator
“When I went to Target Business College and training at the Vallejo store, I met my mentor David Anderson. David was a guy with a similar background to me—went to Sonoma State and jumped into retail management right after graduation.
During our training, I got some valuable advice that I took both personally and professionally. That advice was to have a plan and to execute that plan. Even if the plan doesn’t work out, you have a base to accomplish what you can. Furthermore, that plan exposes your wins as well as weaknesses and thus your opportunities for future endeavors.
I have applied this in my life after college because while in school, you have a general track of what you’re trying to achieve, but after school it’s easy to lose track of what you might want to do or where you want to go.”
Devin Bernosky, Digital Brand and Partners Solutions Associate
“Find a role model! Do some detective work and track down authorities in your field of interest who have a strong online presence. Pay attention to what they’re discussing, who they’re connected with, and how they conduct themselves. Interact with them! You can learn from those around you exponentially faster than you can if you’re just on your own.”
Carrie McCullagh, Agency Relations Manager
“An early piece of advice that I still always use in personal life and business is to ‘Never burn bridges.’
This has worked for me because my CEO reached out a few years after I met him and offered me a job. Nine years later, I am still here. The world is way too small and you never know who you may come across again down the road.”
Roberto Angulo, CEO
“Here’s a piece of advice I got from a trusted mentor. It’s a quirky one but it was helpful to me as a young CEO. The piece of advice was, ‘Anger is a temporal state,’ which means sometimes people get angry but we all get over it.
As a first-time CEO, one thing I always wanted to do was to please everyone and to get a consensus. The reality is that you cannot always get a consensus and as CEO or manager or leader; it’s your responsibility to make the final call. Sometimes making these calls will cause disagreements and not everyone will be happy.
The lesson here is that I always try to get to a consensus but when a consensus cannot be reached, I’ll make the final call. You can’t please everyone all the time and your decisions will sometimes cause people to disagree with you or even be upset. As long as in your heart of hearts you see yourself making the right call, it’s all good. People may get angry, but anger is a temporal state.”
So there you have it.
Your own makeshift time machine. By listening to these words of wisdom from early on in other professionals’ careers, you can help your future-self find success. This is the advice that has stuck with all of these people over the years. Read it carefully. Let it simmer in your mind. Then figure out how you can apply it to your own career journey.
P.S. Have a piece of early career advice that has really impacted you and your career? Share it below!