If I Could Give Advice To My Younger Self,
I Would Say…
When I was younger and first entered the workplace; I thought I had to conform to the roles and career paths of everyone else. I figured if others were on those routes and plans, they must have figured out success—and I should just emulate them. I lived the mantra of “don’t take a different path; take a well beaten road and everything will be okay.” Particularly as a woman, I looked to the successful men around me to guide me, assuming I had been guided the same way as my male counterparts.
Now that I am much wiser (and a little older), I know that the success and fun actually lie on taking a peek down the paths that no one else has taken. By taking those paths, I get to map the course; I get to say what success looks like and I get to make my own choices. It’s scary to deviate from the main road, but it is worth it. One thing I also learned was that if I take a side path and it’s not the right choice; I can come back to the main road—and my friends and colleagues will help me recover and get me ready for the next side path. I won’t be abandoned as a strange person who tried a different path; others will actually appreciate me more as I have potentially opened up a different route to them as well!
I would ultimately like to tell my younger self to take the risks now while you don’t have responsibilities. Try something new and if it doesn’t work; try something else and keep going until you find your one true passion. Don’t take the safe path and don’t be afraid to fail because failure is just another step to success. Fail, fail, fail. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s worth it when you finally succeed.
– Sarah Waters | Senior Manager, National Leader of International Assignment Services at McGladrey–
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