Advice

If you had a time machine, what would you tell your younger self about your career?

Last month, we shared a list of things one woman knew about her career at 50 that she wished she knew when she was younger. Inspired by that post, we asked members of our Facebook community The Climb what they wish they could tell their younger selves about their careers.

Their answers were often beautiful, always important, sometimes funny, and in one case, made us wish we could provide a man with a brick wall to bash his head against. We saved that one for last. (It’s OK Keith, hindsight is 20/20.)

We hope you enjoy their answers as much as we did — and join us at The Climb for more conversations like this. Become part of our wonderful, brilliant group of people striving to better themselves, and their careers, every day.


“That I’m better, stronger and way smarter than what I was made to believe when I was young. That you don’t have to be silent about sexual harassment. Ignore the naysayers and go for what you really want.” — Lisa 

“That it’s not always greener on the other side. I had some great jobs with amazing co-workers which I wish I had continued with for a longer amount of time.” — Mark

“3 important things: find not only a mentor, but an advocate (bonus if they’re an awesome person on top of being successful); learn earlier to get things done involves getting help from others, not trying to do it all; invest and save for retirement early!” — Suzi

“The importance of compartmentalization and self-care… Practicing self-care whether it’s yoga, massage therapy, or sleeping past 9 AM is tantamount to success in this career. I would tell myself you don’t have to work six days per week, the clients will survive. Take the day and rest!” — Faatimah

“That it’s not a career path, it’s a career maze. That’s it’s not a career ladder, it’s *Chutes & Ladders*. That if you make good decisions every day it will all work out. AND: That it’s way OK to be proud of yourself once it does.” — Kristin

“Just because an experienced person is giving you advice does not mean they are a good mentor. And not everyone will “see” the real you, so don’t waste time taking advice from those who can’t see your potential. And also work is not everything; you have to build a life for yourself as well.” — Amy

“It’s ok to have a job where you don’t wear a suit every day. Back in the day, dress for success was all the rage, and in fact, expected. It took me years to wake up as my friends in manufacturing or logistics and freight passed me by with their good paychecks while I settled for crumbs in my business suit with my BS degree in my pocket. We have progressed, thankfully.” — Elaine

“The importance of collaboration, in-person networking, and personal development. Don’t wait for someone to offer a development opportunity— seek one out for yourself. Be proactive. Get used to public speaking and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” — Pamela 

“Continually reinvent your future.” — Timothy

“That sometimes no matter how hard you work, how good you are, someone may decide you are expendable because you make too much or are too old. SO: take the vacation. Take time off to see your kid’s game. Don’t let the jerks who think you are too young/old/loud/take charge ruin your mojo. Live.” — Kathy

And lastly …

“When Microsoft cold calls you to go for an interview in 1996, take the leap!” — Keith 

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