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Careers advice for young adults.

Being young, now is the time to learn, make mistakes & discover who you are. You should enjoy yourself, but not at the expense of your future…

What should you avoid in your early career?

Common mistakes.

Leaving everything until the last minute.

Many young people don't take their careers seriously until other people their age start getting ahead. They enjoy the freedom of being young, focus on living in the present, and leave thoughts of their future working life out of mind. Suddenly, their peers are buying houses, getting new cars, meeting partners, and travelling the world. Meanwhile, they're in a job they don't really care about, that doesn't provide them with enough to afford the life they want to live.

If you've not experienced this yet, a little forward planning goes a long way. Start thinking about what you want from your career now, then identify the knowledge, skills, training, and work experience you will need to make this a reality. If you're already feeling left behind, you still have time — but you need to get to work. This feeling will only get worse if you don't take control. Your career is not going to magically evolve into what you want it to be without conscious effort on your part.

Prioritising money over growth.

The fear of being left behind pushes many young people to accept the first well-paid job they can find. To keep up with their friends, and alleviate their status anxiety, they make salary their number one priority when looking for a job. This is a mistake. By focussing so much on money and resources, they miss out on the bigger picture — building the foundation for their ideal career.

On average, we spend 50% of our waking hours at work. If you do something that doesn't match your interests, just because it pays well, it's not going to be sustainable in the long-term. Once the initial thrill of having more money wears off, you won't feel any more fulfilled than you did before. The problem was not money, it was a lack of satisfaction in the way you were spending your life.

The jobs you should be looking for should cover your minimum outgoings, but also provide opportunities for future growth into an area you're interested in. Gaining relevant experience, building transferrable skills, learning how to work in a team, and developing a professional reputation. In the long run, these opportunities are far more valuable than a good starting salary, and will result in a higher salary in the future for something you actually enjoy doing.

What should you prioritise in your early career?

Key priorities.

Self-discovery & experimentation.

It's unlikely that your first few jobs will be perfect for you. So use the time you have to try different things, and discover who you are along the way. Find what you like, and don't like in a job. Do you like working in a social environment, or from home? Do you want to manage yourself, or follow the lead of a proven expert? Do you want to work for a large company, or a close-knit small business? By experimenting with different roles and careers, you'll learn what kind of work you prefer, and set yourself up for your ideal career in the future.

Establishing a skill set.

While you're in your early career, you should be training up in as many new skills as possible. The more skills you have, the wider range of future career options you will have to explore. The majority of skills can be transferred into new roles, industries, or even give you the foundation to start your own business. So, if you prioritise money over learning now, you will be more restricted in your choice of careers and industries in the years to come. Your skills get you paid in the long run, so prioritise growth for now — it will pay off when it counts.

Learning how to manage your career.

Our working lives can be tricky, and to manage our careers successfully we need a wealth of knowledge, skills & experience. The problem is, we're not given this education at school, or university. You need to know how the job market works, how to network and build a reputation, how to position yourself to employers, and craft compelling cover letters for job applications. Above all, you need to know how to develop an effective strategy to create a working life you'll enjoy. Educate yourself on career management, and find a mentor who's willing to support you with careers advice.

How can you take action right now?

We'll give you all the career advice & support you need to manage your working life successfully. Just give us 90 days.
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Our flexible online programme was designed to teach you how to manage your career like a pro. In 90 days, you'll learn the latest techniques to gain a competitive advantage, and accelerate your career progress.