Are you 18 or turning 18 soon? Then this blog post may come in handy.
Here are three pieces of advice I wish I had when I was 18
1. Paying Your Dues is BS
There’s a popular myth in every industry that you have to pay your dues when you first start out. This means taking a low-level job and groveling to those above you so you can magically climb up to the top of your field. While there may be some truth to this, the overall idea that you have to pay your dues is BS. This is just something people say so that they can make you do menial labor for them. In reality, groveling won’t get you to your dream job.
What you have to think about is what you can do in your job to grow professionally, and how you can use your opportunities to your advantage. The way to move up is to show initiative and to pave the way for yourself, not rely on kissing up to someone or doing the bare minimum of work to get you there. Showing initiative and performing beyond expectations will matter more than paying your dues.
2. The World You Live In When You Graduate Will Be Different From the World You Know Now
Right now, you live in 2020, so the way you see the world is only what you know now up until this point. But the world will look different in 2030 and 2040 and so on. This means opportunities will be different, the way to create a business may be different, and the social climate will have changed.
There’s a lot of pressure for 18-year-olds to have their life figured out by the time they graduate. But knowing what you want to do for the next 30 years is impossible because we don’t know what the world will be like then.
Instead of stressing about how you haven’t figured out your life yet, listen to the world around you and find a place where you’re skills and talents fit in. You may find in the future what you want to do with your life didn’t even exist when you were 18.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Quit
If you work hard you will be rewarded – or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. In the real world, this isn’t always reality. Just because you work hard and are good at your job doesn’t mean it will bring you happiness or opportunity for growth. If you are unhappy or aren’t moving up professionally, it’s okay to walk away. Don’t waste time in jobs where the people are toxic or you’re not getting anything out of it.
Additionally, just because you thought something was your dream career doesn’t mean your perspective won’t change. You may find that once you enter your dream job, you don’t like it. It’s okay to follow a new dream.
Never Stop Learning About Yourself
You’re going to change, and that’s a good thing. The person you are in 10, 20, or 30 years will not be the same person you are at 18. So what you like now and what you think you want to do now can be a stepping stone into the real world. But feel free to move on and take different paths throughout your 20s.
You may find that the path that’s best for you is a path you never thought you’d be on at 18.