if I were 23 again

Toronto, 2013.05.20

On an Internet forum, someone asked what advice I'd give my 23-year-old self if I could. This is what I wrote.

Find mentors who can guide you to the sorts of things you think you might want to do & be. This is in every field, not just work. Look at people who are doing/living those things and talk to everyone you meet. Learn everything you can from those people. This will never stop.

Build a reputation for hard work, talent, and integrity. Become natural at networking. I don't know too many people who didn't hit a rough patch at some point. A network that values your skills, personality, and work ethic will make all the difference. Over the last twenty years and on three continents, I've landed seven jobs through networking. I can't tell you how many people I've referred for jobs.

Constantly learn. Read, study, take qualifying exams for new qualifications. Be prepared to retrain from scratch at some point. I'm 42 and planning to head back to school in September for a master's degree as I start what amounts to a third career.

Take your time figuring out what you want. I've found that opportunities tend to come up for those who are ready for them.

leave a comment

By submitting this form you agree to the privacy terms.