“Hi Louise! I recently graduated college but have yet to find a job, and I’m feeling a bit lost. Are there any tips you’d give to someone who’s just starting out their career, for finding success?”
We’ve all been there – no matter what industry you work in, everyone goes through a period of feeling like they’re stuck in a career rut. Sometimes we need to get re-inspired, step it up, or even change directions completely. Regardless of where you’re at in your career, there are certain things you should know – and live by – at every step. I’m lucky enough to know so many badass, successful female business women and entrepreneurs, and over the years I’ve learned so many helpful pieces of advice from them – and even a few of my own. Here are 10 crucial career rules that every woman should live by. Are there any helpful rules that you think other women should know? Tell us in the comments!
Sometimes the hardest part with any project or goal is just starting. You may feel overwhelmed or not even know where to begin, but once you take the first step it’s much easier to gain momentum. Start by doing what you know how to do right now in this moment, and let the rest unfold. You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.
Do The Most Difficult Tasks First.
If you find yourself procrastinating, do yourself a favor and get the most difficult or tedious tasks out of the way first (translation: the tasks you least want to do). Once you have this checked off it will feel like a weight off your shoulders, and everything else will flow much more easily and quickly.
Always proactively seek out inspiration, wherever you find it most. Never think that inspiration will just come to you – if you’re feeling a bit blah or stuck in a rut, look to who you most admire for some much-needed motivation. Whether it’s someone you know personally, someone on social media, a notable role model or otherwise – seek out their work, quotes, images, or whatever you need to give you a boost. My favorite thing is looking on Instagram or in magazines for beautiful imagery and articles that I find refreshing or motivating.
Never Expect Anything.
This was something my grandfather always used to say, and it has always rung true throughout my career. It sounds quite negative, but it’s actually extremely helpful once you understand what it means. The message is that no one owes you anything, and that you should never leave your career, happiness, or success up to someone else. Always be proactive, don’t take things personally, and don’t be afraid to make the first move in any situation – work or otherwise.
Be Open To Change & Adapt As Needed.
It used to be that someone entered a company in their 20’s or 30’s and stayed for decades, slowly working their way up the ranks. In today’s world, industries and technologies are constantly changing, and people are frequently switching roles and companies. Therefore, the need to be flexible and constantly adapting is absolutely crucial to being successful. It’s important to always update your skills, whether that means researching your field, watching online courses, reading books and articles, or paying for classes. You never know when you might change career paths, and you never want to be obsolete – come what may.
Use Failure As A Lesson.
Experiencing failure at some point in your career is pretty much a guarantee. The trick is to not get so bogged down by it that you give up. So many notable entrepreneurs have had past ventures fail (hello Steve Jobs and Oprah!), but have gone on to have massively successful careers. There is always a lesson to be had from every failure, so make sure you learn it and keep moving forward.
Ask For Help.
Trying to do absolutely everything is a surefire way to burn yourself out. Do your best at what you’re capable of, and outsource help when you can. Ask a coworker for help on a project, hire a Task Rabbit or virtual assistant, ask your neighbor to walk your dog – you get the idea. The important thing is to have enough time to do tasks that are of highest priority, and take as much off your plate as possible. Your quality of work will be higher, and you’ll feel more sane overall!
Get Up Earlier.
I’ve always been an early riser, and I truly believe that it sets the tone for your entire day. You have extra time to catch up on things or spend time with your loved ones in the morning, and you can make the most of your daylight hours. Getting up earlier also means getting enough sleep, so make sure you’re doing just that (Read my tips on how to make your bedroom a sanctuary and get better sleep here).
Learn The Importance Of Work/Life Balance.
When you’re in your 20’s, advancing your career is probably one of the most important things in your life. You have more energy, you may not be married or have kids just yet, and you may have more time to dedicate to work overall. This is certainly the time to do it, but don’t get so caught up in your career that you alienate yourself from the people you love the most. You don’t want to wake up one day to find that you’ve lost touch with your best friends or fallen out with family. Yes, career is important – but at the end of the day you want people to share that success with. So make sure to always call or text people back (if you get busy, it’s ok – better late than never!), go to that birthday party, say yes to that date.
Always Be Kind.
This is something that people often seem to forget as they climb the career ladder. It’s important to always be kind to everyone you meet along the way – not only just to be a good person (duh!), but also because you never know when someone you’ve crossed paths with can help you, recommend you, connect you, or refer you at some point down the line. Never burn bridges, and never treat someone like they’re not important. That means treating every intern, assistant, staffer – whoever! – with respect and kindness. Careers aside, just be kind to everyone, always – it seems crazy that people need a reminder about this, but I’m always surprised how many people are not kind in business or life in general!
What I’m Wearing: Dress by Misa, Espadrilles by Manebi, Earrings by Rebecca de Ravenel, Bag by Yosuzi, Bangle by Cartier, Necklace by Jennifer Meyer, Lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury