At age 21, I was on the brink of entering the so-called “real-world,” eager to start writing professionally and excited for new adventures in a big city. I’d already held multiple jobs throughout high school, everything from babysitting to teaching gymnastics to manning the snack bar at the local country club, and in college, I waitressed alongside a paid internship. I thought I knew a thing or two about hard work, growth, and hustle. I felt prepared for adulting and ready to dive headfirst into a successful career.
Now, after ten years in the communications industry, I’ve done pretty well for myself—but I’ve also definitely had a few facepalm moments, lessons I wish I had learned a bit sooner. Since I can’t go back in time, here are the top 20 pieces of career advice I wish my younger self had paid more attention to, and why they matter so much.