Now at the grand old age of 34 and ⅔ with over a decade of swimming through this industry, Florence Buswell, senior content designer at Zone has learnt a thing or two about avoiding the sharks and reaching the shore of success. Here’s what she would tell her younger self — and hopefully you will find something useful here too (more so than the swimming metaphor she stuck to)…
- Studying is a privilege
In my first year of university, I spent as much time looking for ways to cover up the fact I hadn’t read the set texts as I did actually reading them. Skipping a seminar if hungover was an act of self-preservation. It is very easy to look back in retrospect and wish I’d appreciated the time I spent studying more. I have never had the chance to dive as deeply into a subject I really love since, and I doubt I will again. If you get to do higher education, embrace it!
2. Everyone has different paths (and pace)
This is one for your professional and personal life. As you get older you won’t always have the benefit of being able to think about your life selfishly — maybe you’ll have a family to think about, or you need to make sure you can make the next mortgage payment. Take the time to build yourself while you can and try out different opportunities. Comparison to others is an utter waste of time, energy and happiness.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I LOVE it when people ask me about my work or want my help or advice. Everyone likes to feel needed, and that what they do is worth other people hearing about. I wish I had thought about this earlier — I wasn’t always this way and made some unnecessary mistakes along the way because I thought asking for help was admitting weakness. Nowadays I freely ask for advice and help if I feel I need it — you are never above learning from others, whatever it is you do or how high you climb the career ladder.
4. Keep reading and learning as much as you can
I used to think my learning experience for work started and ended with what happened in the four walls of my office. It doesn’t. I don’t mean taking work home with you. But training courses, evening talks, reading books on subjects you find interesting — all of this helps you learn what it is you like, and helps you gain insight from a wide range of different people and opinions. Don’t stop doing it.
5. Know your worth
This is a hard one to crack without experience. But if you’ve been accepted for a job (especially with the number of interview rounds some places ask for), this isn’t a fluke; it’s because you know what you’re doing. It’s not rude to stand your ground if you don’t believe a decision at work is right. Respect others but respect yourself too.
Read other blogs in our #BreakTheBias series: