Things I Wish I Had Known About Work When I Was Younger

When you’re a young adult preparing for a working world that you haven’t yet experienced, knowing what to expect is difficult. Here are a number of things I wish I had known about work when I was 20 that would have gotten me off to a better start. Why learn these lessons the hard way if you can avoid them altogether?

It doesn’t always have to be fun: Many people would agree that you shouldn’t spend most of your time doing something that you don’t really care about. On the other hand, the world we live in has certain unfortunate realities, and one of those is that money is necessary to get by. Working at a job you don’t love in the short-term isn’t


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6 Responses to Things I Wish I Had Known About Work When I Was Younger

  1. rose says:

    If I could do it all over again, I would completly focus on my career and my job and not put a lot of time and effort into dating and relationship that might not even work out in the long term. But I was naive and looking for love and ignored pretty much everything else.

    My job was just a paycheck, school was not a first priority either. When my bf had time off, I would call in sick and even miss my classes just to spend more time with him. Stupid.

    At the same time I ignored people around that might be useful to get an advice from or even move up.

    I should have treated everything and everybody like a business and not let my personal feelings get in a way.

  2. Roman @ says:

    I loved high school! I somehow managed to be friends with everyone – with the cool people and with the smart nerds :) It somehow happened that I was usually the middle man when different groups wanted to communicate with each other.
    Does this mean that I should look forward to working in big companies? :)
    I also wanted to comment on the – don’t try to please everyone point.
    When you start at a new company and understand that it is almost possible to please your superiors or co-workers and that the job makes you unhappy – be ready to quit!
    It can be hard, but in the end it just might do you more good than doing the work that you hate!

  3. Nice post. Great explanation of your 20/20 hindsight regarding your experiences in the working world.

  4. On the Money says:

    The “burning bridges” advice is perhaps the most important in today’s volatile job market. Thanks for this post.

  5. Steven says:

    When I got first first job, in 1964, we didn’t have IRAs or 401Ks. I wished I had started saving one hour’s wages per day back then. No, I waited until the traditional IRA came along and then tried to play catch up. I did OK once I got started investing in the market; retired debt free at 55. If I had started in 1964, probably could have retired at 45.

  6. Gail says:

    I wish had had the strength of spirit to reach out for my dreams and try a different way. I had grown up in a home where you went and did the best job possible — for your boss and good things should come your way. HA! Some of us weren’t meant to punch a time clock but to go out on our own making our own job.

    Also if you do work for someone else, always, always sign up for short term disablility if it is offered! When I got too sick to work they paid out $10,000 over 6 months. I only wish my company had also offered long term disablity. You never know when sickness or an accident will knock you off your feet for good or at least a very long time.

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