Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Most Common Career Advice Given to Your 20-Year Old Self

What advice would you give your 20 year old self?  That's the key question LinkedIn asked people recently.  Jessica Stillman of reported on the results.   She described the most common theme to emerge from the responses:

What do all of these replies have in common? Each focuses on action, experimentation, and course correction rather than pre-planning and rigid goals. The right way to make the most of your career, commentator after commentator insisted, isn't to have a grand blueprint or follow a pre-arranged path. Instead it's to just get started, learn along the way, and keep moving forward. Action beats endless deliberation any day.

Stillman quotes several of the folks who responded to LinkedIn's question:

Executive coachTracy Wilk. "Careers are long.  There's no need for a mad rush to find the ideal job. The first part (i.e., 10+ years) of your career is about testing multiple jobs and understanding what you like/dislike and are good and bad at."

Hireproof co-founder Max Korpinen:  "Don't spend so much time planning and researching the perfect career path -- you don't know what 'work' is yet anyway. Aggressively explore all options that seem interesting, learn, iterate, and you'll arrive to the 'perfect path' much faster," he advises his younger self.

Terrific advice.  It reminds me of the terrific book, Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.  They too argue that we should take action, experiment, and learn... rather than sitting in our room pondering what we want to do with our lives.  

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