This post is courtesy of Annette Burns Young, a Director of Zahra Media Group. In it, she waxes nostalgic and passes on some amazing life wisdom for anyone who is in need of a little help.
If I could travel back in time and advise my younger self, especially knowing what I do now, there are quite a few things I would tell her. In the interest of space, I’ll keep it career-focused and only share my top five. The following tips will help anyone, in any stage of their career, but is geared for those just starting out…
1. Create a life vision.
Knowing where you want to go is helpful in building the steps to get there. If you know you want to do something for three years, then you should make plans accordingly. You’re never too young to do this and owning your own life vision means that jobs/friends/partners are less likely to own it for you.
2. Own your own means of production.
This is the big one and key for everybody who works – not just the self-employed. I first read these wise words in a book by Charles Handy and it changed everything about how I approached work. At the time I was an employee but recognised that while jobs/roles and employers change, the skills and experience I was building were mine and mine alone. This meant I valued time and how I use it differently. Every day since, as an employee, consultant, business owner or teacher, I have asked myself the same 2 questions: Did I give value today? What will I do differently tomorrow?
3. Find the people you admire and stick to their coattails.
These people can be colleagues, bosses or even those outside of your industry. By being in the company of people that inspire you and challenge you, you are more likely to keep progressing towards your life vision. Look beyond people you already know. Technology and online content means that access to people we have never met and might never meet but who we can be inspired by – is entirely possible.
4. Be a Seeker.
Seek out people, ideas, learning and skills. Keep learning. It’s a lifelong pursuit. Our education system encourages us to think learning is linear and formal. life tells us that it’s not. We are in a glorious age for the Seeker: technology and affordable travel make connecting with people, ideas, cultures all possible in a way my grandmother could not have dreamt off. My advice: don’t go on holiday – travel and learn!
5. Mentor others.
The idea that seniority defines mentorship is limited. For sure, wisdom can only be gained by living a life of experience. But we live in a technological age and 3 months practicing skills in this field equips you to teach someone 3 months behind. Offer your skills to your colleagues and contacts – not only will you be giving but you will deepen your own learning by the process of unpacking what you have unconsciously been practicing.