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March 29, 2019, by Katy Johnson

How to Do Well at Work: Pearls of Wisdom From Seasoned Alums

By Hayley Gillmore, Students’ Union Employability Development Manager

What I wish I’d known… 

Have you ever wondered what advice you’d give your younger self? Would you tell yourself to worry less about something or maybe you’d like to give your younger self a push to take chances you missed?

We asked some of our alumni from a range of careers what they wished they’d known when they started their career journey.

Work / Life balance…

“At the start of my career journey, I wish I’d known to take each day as it comes – not to get stressed or caught up in work.” Tamsin, Civil Service

“Sleep is crucial, find your healthy pattern and work-life balance (exercise, social activities or having a creative outlet) is key” Tim, Charity Worker / Self Employed

“I wish I’d known life is too short to be such a perfectionist – as long as you’re doing great work, you’re doing well!” Lauren, Digital Analyst

It’s okay not to know now…

“That my first job wasn’t going to be my forever job, to take a long term view of my career and find fulfilment in the small things every day. A meaningful career takes a long time to build.” Beth, Training Coordinator

“I wish I’d know that lots of people don’t know what type of career they want, and you need to try different skills and roles before you know what is a good fit for you. ” Gemma, Policy Advisor

Practical hints and tips…

“The importance of office skills; being able to use outlook professionally, chairing meetings, managing your own workload – all skills I had to learn quickly when I started work!” Billy, Volunteer Coordinator

“I wish I’d done more research to make sure the role I was offered was the right role for me, sometimes It’s easy to say yes to the first job offer that comes along.” Nic, Lab Technician

Ask yourself what advice you’d have given yourself 5 years ago. What do you think your future self will thank you for? Are there opportunities to expand your skill set or trial careers that might be the right fit for you? Networking, work shadowing, researching the industry are all great ways of making a successful choice when you decide to make the next step in your career.  

Posted in Careers Advice