Career Advice for 20s

Molly Graham shares 10 things she wish she knew at the beginning of her 20s.

tldr: Collect experiences and people

Some notes

  • Don't obsess about climbing the ladder about levelling up, focus on learning about yourself and the world
    • If you know yourself well, everything else comes naturally - what direction to point yourself, what ladder to climb, what makes you happy, fulfilled, and thrive at work
  • before hopping on the corporate treadmill, do something that is truly different to grow in immeasurable ways: work in another country, work on a farm, etc.
  • Collect experiences: self-knowledge is one of the most valuable things to get in your 20s, so pick the wrong job a few times, take on a really risky project and fail
  • Have a clear list of what you love and hate, and what you're good at and bad at.
    • the overlap between your list is what you love doing and what you're exceptional at, it'll lead to roles that make you successful and happy
  • Seek J-Curve jobs, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, best time to take risks, bigger bets, helps you figure out the boundaries of what you're good at
  • It is more important to learn than to know, make learning a strength, embrace the identity of someone who doesn't need to know everything
  • Be useful to the people you work with, it gets you access to opportunities that you can never apply for.
  • Be a nice person to work with, and leave companies well, take both the learning and relationship on the way out
  • screw companies, follow great people: brilliant managers, mentors, and peers who push you to be better,
  • Collect people: Build a network by making friends at work, invest in building friendships and get to know your coworkers, keep a spreadsheet to track and stay connected with them.
  • working at a well-run company with good managers teaches you about management, how to be exceptional at execution, and professionalism, no better training if you're starting your own company
  • you'll only have about two exceptional managers in your life, people who you want to be when you "grow up", go work for them and don't take them for granted

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