The best career advice I’ve ever gotten was from a woman that I met 6 years ago. At this time, I was working part-time in the admissions office of the liberal arts college I attended, and her family came in for a tour and lunch on campus. We got to talking, and at that point I was thinking about going in to HR as it made sense with my graduate coursework, and I really had no idea what I might actually be qualified to do. This kind soul gave me her card and suggested I call or email her if I had any questions. In a moment of fearlessness (wow, thinking about this makes me feel like my past-self was kind of brave!) I actually did reach out and we talked at least once. This is the piece of advice that has stuck with me:
You can never make a mistake with the first job that you take. You have everything to learn and very little (ok, nothing) to lose. You’ll have opportunities to make different and perhaps better choices in the future with what you learn, but that first job is just the beginning. You’ll see what works, and what doesn’t, what you like to do and what you absolutely cannot stand.
It’s with this advice that I can’t beat myself up over picking the wrong job a couple of years ago, or not hanging on a little longer at the last one. Leaving my first job when I did. There are so many opportunities to self doubt and pick apart confidence, but I’m determined not to do so.