We’ve all thought about the advice we’d give ourselves if we could travel back in time to talk to our awkward preteen selves, but one Twitter user asked women what advice they’d give to themselves if they were just starting their careers, and they did not hold back.
Transparency among career women on how they’ve succeeded or how they’ve learned from their failures is one of the best ways that women are able to help other women in their lives, so here’s some advice.
Always Ask For More
The worst thing that’s going to happen if you ask for more money is your company says no, and the best outcome is they say yes. There’s no risk in you asking for what you deserve, but they’re not going to offer a great salary or opportunity if you don’t ask for it.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
You don’t even remember everything you accomplish on a daily basis or a weekly basis, so how can you expect your boss to remember all your shining moments? You have to remind yourself of why you’re good at your job so you can be ready to tell other people, too.
Accept Criticism, As Long As It’s Constructive
Do your best to accept and actually listen to feedback or criticism in the moment, then reflect later on how you can implement it. Sometimes, you’re going to get criticized and it won’t be constructive, but remember that just because you don’t like the feedback, that doesn’t mean it might not be true.
Say It Louder For The People In The Back
You don’t need to always be the loudest voice in the room, but if you have something to say, speak up. Your ideas can’t be heard if you’re whispering them or not saying them out loud at all.
Don’t Let Others Dictate Your Career Path
You shouldn’t let your parents dictate your career, and you shouldn’t let your coworkers either. If you pitch an idea or a project and someone tells you that you “can’t” do that but they don’t have a real reason, find a way to do it regardless.
You’re Always Allowed To Ask Questions
There’s nothing wrong with asking questions—even if the person you’re asking makes it seem like an inconvenience. And chances are, if you don’t understand something, someone else in the room probably doesn’t either.
Stop Wasting Your Energy Worrying
If you find you’re spending all your time worrying about certain projects or aspects of your job, try thinking about why. Is there something you can do better or something you can change? If there’s nothing to change, stop worrying about it and spend your energy somewhere else.
Think About Taking The Crazy Opportunities
Before you write an opportunity off as too crazy or too risky, think about it realistically. Is it really that ridiculous to consider taking a job overseas at 25, or is it just “crazy” enough that it might be great?
You’re Not Going To Be Friends With Everyone You Work With
Not everyone is going to love you in your workplace, and quite frankly, some people aren’t even going to like you. While it’s great to get along with your coworkers and have friends at work, you have other friends for a reason. Your job doesn’t need to be your social circle, and a lot of people would argue it definitely shouldn’t be.
Your Job Doesn’t Have To Be Your Passion
It would be great to find a job you absolutely love, that feeds your passion and is everything you’ve ever wanted, but that takes time. Not every job you work is going to do that for you, which is why you need to find other ways to make sure you’re happy outside of your 9–5 job.
Dress To Impress
Even if it’s only 10 minutes, take a break and eat your lunch somewhere other than your desk when you can. Take the chance to show off those new slacks you bought in the breakroom with everyone else eating their lunches.
Change The Narrative
Use more positive, concrete language on your resume in order to give yourself the credit you deserve. You don’t need to lie on your resume, but you need to frame the narrative properly.
Use Your Sick Days
Sick days and vacation days are there for a reason. You don’t gain brownie points or salary bonuses for not taking the breaks that are given to you, and you’ll find yourself burning out a lot faster.
Don’t Let Striving For Perfection Limit You
The chances of you being 100% qualified for a job are slim, but the chances of you being 75% qualified and able to learn the other 25% of the job are very high. Don’t put yourself in a box because you think you can’t apply for something.
Mother Doesn’t Always Know Best
If you’re having trouble deciding what you want to major in or what career path you want to take after college, it’s great to turn to people who know you best like your parents, but you can’t base your entire life around their opinion.
Don’t go into a career simply because someone told you to, unless that someone is you.
It’s Never Too Late For A Change
It doesn’t matter if you went to school for a specific field or career and you’ve been working in it for the last 10 years. If you’re not happy in your role or your field, it’s never too late to change. Careers are long, life is short, find a job you like.
Be An Outfit Repeater
No one is going to care if you wear the same outfit every Friday or the same black pair of pants four days a week—because no one is going to notice. Don’t spend your time worrying about repeating outfits, as long as you’re dressed appropriately for your job.
Only You Know When Your Plate Is Full
You don’t need to feel guilty for saying no to helping someone else if you know that it’s going to jeopardize the rest of your work or yourself. And you’re not required to give a lengthy explanation as to why you can’t do it.
Other Women In The Workplace Aren’t Your Enemies
A little healthy competition in the workplace isn’t a bad thing, but you can still be friends with your colleagues while pushing each other to be better. You can figure out ways to support each other without stepping on anyone in the process.
Find Your Mentor
If you have the luxury of choice, try to find companies that want to help you in your career as much as you want to help their company instead of spending your time working for companies that only care about you helping them.