Starting your career journey: Life lessons from three professionals
Like many of you, I am only just beginning my career journey. There is so much I don’t know about my industry, my future, or the people around me. With all those unknowns, figuring out my next step or navigating the workplace can sometimes feel overwhelming.
However, I’ve found that the best way to mitigate these fears is to voice them. Hearing about what others have learnt in their experience can help you better grasp how your career might pan out and what to keep in mind. I recently asked some of my colleagues about the learning moments and life lessons from their careers. They spoke about everything from not connecting with others to knowing your worth and being aware that you aren’t alone in your uncertainty.
This blog post will delve deeper into these three life lessons from professionals and what they can teach us as we start our career journeys.
1. Although it may seem like people have life all sorted out, they rarely do
“Throughout my employment journey, whether in casual or ongoing roles in different workplaces and environments, whilst observing people, a lot of them looked like they had life and career all sorted. However, I slowly realised it was naïve of me to think people had it all sorted, no matter their age or experience.
“This light bulb moment came to me as I got to know people. I realised it was just an outward appearance; everyone has things going on in the background.
“I also came to realise that I don’t have to have everything 100% sorted out in my career and life. I didn’t need to worry that I was still exploring what I wanted to do and there was no deadline I needed to have everything sorted out by.
“As I explore new interests and have new experiences, I have come to realise there is no right career and life path for me which is set in stone. I can be creative and follow my interests as I discover them to build a career and life that inspires me during that time in my life.”
– Michelle Tanti, Careers Consultant at UTS Careers
2. Person-to-person connection in recruitment
“This may sound very obvious, but the main thing I’ve learned, having been on both sides of the recruitment process is that we’re all just people. The same super intimidating guy in a suit, grilling you on why you’d be a good fit for a position, could be sitting there worrying about whether there’s something in his shoe or whether he’s on school pick-up duty today.
“There’s a lot of pressure to present this highly polished version of yourself which in turn can create a lot of stress, but just remember that the person on the other side of the recruitment process has the same anxieties and really just wants to find someone for the role they’re hiring for. If you can keep this in mind and focus on connecting person-to-person, it can really help you navigate the process.”
– Mia Casey, Communications Officer at UTS Careers
3. Know your worth
“If you’ve been selected, for example, as part of a graduate program or a specific job, you have something special. You were chosen over a lot of other candidates. If you don’t value yourself, your time and your needs, your boss won’t either. It’s important to set expectations and boundaries early.
“I wish someone had told me that. Especially for graduate programs because it’s so competitive. Until you understand your own value and power as an employee, no one else will, as you are your best advocate.”
– Monique D’Souza, Marketing Officer at UTS Careers
Starting your career journey can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that the professionals around you have been in your shoes. Even if it seems like everyone has it all sorted out, looks can be deceiving. Remember that we’re all just people and that it is okay to not know what comes next. As long as you keep moving through the changes and learning, you and your confidence will grow and flourish.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Amelia is a Sydney-based writing and communications enthusiast working at UTS Careers as a Communications Assistant. She studied a Bachelor of Communications (Creative Writing & Advertising), and a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS. She is passionate about creativity, storytelling, and the art of a well-timed gif.