[Life Hacks] 5 Wise Tips for Young and Starting Professionals

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Happy Monday! Since its start of the week, I thought I’ll come up with a post that’s relevant to what I do. I’m a human resources professional for 8 years now and I’ve worked with 3 companies: advertising, BPO, and shared services. If there’s a common theme when it comes to the industries I’ve been with, is that I’ve worked with people from different backgrounds and various walks of life. And I realized, the key to stay in my profession is to master how to work with people in general. This don’t just apply to being my profession alone. Whether you work as an analyst, engineer, or even as an individual contributor, being a people-person is the key to success.

I started working in 2009 and thinking about it, I realized I’ve been to a lot of challenges and wins when it comes to work. If I were to press rewind and go back to where I started, I would come up with a list of life hacks. I would hand it over to my 21-year-old self so that I can be more successful. Here are 5 things that I would tell my 21-year-old self, a girl who’s fresh from the university and starting her career.

  1. Don’t feel pressured. I remember on my last months in the university, most of my classmates were starting to print out their CVs; going to Makati, Ortigas, and Eastwood to submit work applications. I feel pressured back then because eventually my college friends would start their first job while I was left out, feeling down because I had a lot of rejections from my applications. If you’re feeling the same way as I was before, stop comparing your career journey with others. Although they say that life is a race and whoever gets first is the winner, this should not be what’s on your mind. Focus on yourself, be prepared, and take it easy. We all have different journeys in life especially when it comes to work.
  2. Continue learning. When I graduated in college, I was so impatient that I was ready to apply everything that I’ve learned. And then, when I started working in my first company, I realized that there’s still a lot of things that I need to learn. Sure, I was very much knowledgeable on concepts, theories, and techniques. But those aren’t as much as important compared to learning the value of hard work, humility, and patience. Listen to your mentors, contribute valuable ideas, and stay grounded. Take each day at work as a learning process. Learn from challenges and mistakes, from there you will become more successful.
  3. It’s not about the title and the pay check. “Learn and absorb things as much as you can; money and promotion will follow,” this was one of the golden advice that I got my boss in 2011. True enough, I learned the value of hard work and reaping the fruits of my labor. Sometimes, we put a price tag on our worth as a professional. We get frustrated when things are not given to us especially when we feel that we are entitled to it. When you set unrealistic goals, that is when you’ll crash and burn. Go back to why you started in the first place. Look ahead on what you want to achieve. Promotion and salary increase are only perks when you do a great job. Set a goal in mind on what you want to achieve.
  4. It’s okay to take a break. In my first 3 years as professional, the average hours that I stayed at work were 9 to 10 hours. Later on, I was so burned out that I feel I no longer have the drive to work. As young professional, we feel that we have so many things to prove in our work. We consume most of our time in the office, staying late, and forgetting to spend time on other important matters. Let me tell you this: there’s always another day and another time to finish work. Learn to prioritize and take a break. Learn the art of balance when it comes to work. Never let work get in the way with your relationships (family, friends, and loved ones) and other important things in life.
  5. Have fun! Another quotable quote that I got from my previous job was, “Have fun, enjoy what you do, and do the best job that you can day in and day out.” I worked in my previous company for more than 6 years because I truly enjoyed what I do and I enjoyed the work relationship that I had with my colleagues. When you enjoy what you do, you’ll never think about money, promotion, or other challenges that may arise in your profession. Always have a positive outlook in life, especially at work.

There will always be challenges at work. But I believe that in life, we are given challenges because the universe knows that we can overcome the hurdles. It’s the same thing at work especially for young and starting professionals. Be patient, stay grounded, and learn from everything. When you take these wisdom into heart, I’m 100% sure that you’ll be successful! ❤

Do share your work tips as well! I love to hear your thoughts too. xoxo.

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