The other day someone asked me, “If you could give your 24 year old self some career and business advice, what would that be?”
Mind you, when I was 24 years old I was an Executive Assistant at E! News and thought I wanted to be an EP of a live television show. Blogs did not really exist at the time and I had no idea what the future held. Nonetheless, here is a letter to my 24 year old self:
You may think you have it all figured out by now, but as the 35 year old version of “you” who is sitting across this screen, I can assure you that what the road holds for you is far different than what you are imagining. Expect surprises, explore the unknown and take any opportunity you can now to expand your knowledge in every area that interests you. Your career calling is going to pull at your heart-strings, so be sure to listen – I repeat, listen to your gut.
At this point in your life, you have a strong understanding of what you do not want to do. So, stop walking down any path that isn’t taking you somewhere that makes your heart sing. What makes you wake up every morning? What are your deepest dreams and darkest desires for your life, that you are scared to even share because they sound so crazy? I can assure you that no dream is crazy and that if you pour your heart and soul into your goals, that you will reach them.
Take advice with a grain of salt and learn from your mistakes. Be the first person to admit when you are wrong. Do not be afraid to ask for help. In the beginning of a personal project that you will quickly pursue, you will think that you need to figure it all out on your own, but you can’t and should ask for help. Don’t let your pride get in the way of progress. It’s okay to not have everything perfectly figured out at this stage in your life.
A few other tips that I assure you will come in handy: Take a photography class. Take a graphic design, photoshop and coding class. Read management books. As soon as you have figured out what you absolutely love waking up doing every day, go for it 100% and do not hold back. You are going to feel late to the game, but I can promise you that you can never be too late to do what you love. If you do not believe in yourself, no one will. No one is going to do this for you.
Write thank you notes, be polite and don’t forget that you never know who might be able to help you along the way.
Your Future Self
P.S. Hire a good accountant immediately!
Image borrowed from here