If I were 22
May is my birthday month, so a time for celebrations and introspection.
In interviews, I often ask our applicants to pretend they are 60, and look back on their careers. Their dreams range from leaving a legacy to being able to retire by the age of 45.
At 22, I had taken my first steps on the career ladder. I had been promoted from being a PA and Installation Secretary (setting up PoS installations for NCR’s large retailers) to becoming a full time programmer.
I had made some extremely poor academic decisions, and realised I had to make some very good career choices. Software development was a relatively new field when I was in my early 20s, and it became an exciting and fulfilling career.
Based on my history what advice would I give myself or a new graduate?
It doesn’t matter what you have studied, or what your first job is.
Keep looking for your passion, find what makes you happy.
If it’s money, and you don’t mind being a little unchallenged, as long as there is enough upside to let you follow your personal goals, that’s a choice.
If it’s constant growth and fulfilment, and money is less critical, but still key, that’s another road. There are many....
I would also definitely advise that busyness in itself is not an achievement and sometimes the goal is just to have fun…
Most important, though, #IfIwere22, I would actively look for a mentor or coach who could give me, as Mr Robbie Burns said “the gift to give us, to see ourselves as others see us”. The reason behind this is to short circuit some of those frustrations along the path to success where we are misaligned with the goals and objectives of those who have the power to help us move along it.
As a woman in business, I believe it would have helped me a great deal to have had a peer group for sharing the challenges, not to mention sage advice. So that would be the big one, find a circle of women in similar situations, and meet regularly. It could save your sanity.
Links, References and Notes
Accsys provides people management solutions ie Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Time and Attendance as well as Access Control/Visitor Management.
The company develops, implements, trains and services our solutions. We provide readers, turnstiles, booms and CCTV.
We run both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile options for ESS. Recruitment, online education and Outsourcing are part of our offering, too.
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