14 Pieces of Career Advice I Wish I had Learned Sooner

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My nephew is currently in Grade 10 taking career planning. His latest assignment was to pick an occupation that he could see himself enjoying. As he worried about finding the perfect fit for his aptitude and personality I couldn’t help but think that there are several things I wish I had learned about career planning and life at his age. So, here are 14 pieces of career advice I wish I had learned sooner.

  1. High school success does not equal life success. Some of the happiest and most accomplished people I know found their way after high school.
  2. Don’t believe the right career assessment will find you the perfect occupation.
  3. Passion will get you further in the workplace than intelligence.
  4. You can learn as much from traveling as sitting in a classroom.
  5. You don’t have to work 9:00 to 5:00. Some of the most successful people I know have flexible schedules that they make fit around their busy lives.
  6. A long commute to work can take its toll after several years.
  7. Parents & friends can be the best source for career advice.
  8. Parents & friends can be the worst source for career advice.
  9. Don’t be one of those people who is so afraid of trying something new that you never make a mistake. It will make you a perfectly dull person.
  10. Don’t let negativity squash your dreams. Too many people confuse being overly critical with speaking from the voice of experience.
  11. Finding the right career counsellor or career coach can be money well spent.
  12. Build your own brand and don’t look for career security from an employer.
  13. Keep learning. It will make your more interesting and keep you relevant in the job market.
  14. Laugh. Smile. Enjoy life. It’s precious!
Dr. Linda Pardy
Dr. Linda Pardy
As an Associate Professor, Communications, and a Student Affairs educator I uniquely work in both these worlds. With over 20 years of Student Affairs experience I strategically blend student development theory into all my teaching and learning, and consulting work. A close colleague once nicknamed me Practical Scholar, but in reality it is a good way to describe my work. My integrated approach to student success is practical yet recognized for improving cross-disciplinary work, enhancing learning conditions, and equipping students with workplace ready skills. I publish and present my research both nationally and internationally. I'm currently involved in several projects related to preparing 21st century learners for the workplace. I hope this blog is a way to share this work.
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