Things I’ve learnt…

1. Be true to yourself. Fake people are incredibly obvious and really annoying. Be diplomatic, but be truthful. Don’t be afraid to like things that no one else does. One day you’ll meet someone else who gets it, I promise.

2. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, don’t do it. Working in recruitment I’ve had lots of experiences where I’ve felt that someone is wrong for a job that, on paper, they’re totally right for – and for the most part I’ve been correct. If you know that something feels off but you don’t know why, I’ve found that just saying “I’m not sure, there’s something I can’t put my finger on” can help to start a conversation about your reservations. It also encourages others to stop and think.

3. Don’t take no for an answer. Whatever it is, keep going at it. Try to think of different ways to get what you want. Get feedback on why you’ve been rejected and work on those points. Ask for help from everyone you can think of. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

4. Have a plan. If you have an ambition, write it down and work out the steps you need to take to get to it. Set a timeline. Set realistic goals. Be prepared to be flexible when life gets in the way. Even if you have to abandon the plan for 6 months (or 6 years!) and start back at the beginning, never give it up completely.

5. What goes around comes around. Also be careful with your soul. The world has a funny way of repaying you for your previous actions.

6. Listen to your elders. Despite the pace at which the world has changed, basic human relationships are fundamentally the same as they always have been. In my experience, older people couldn’t care less what you think of them so their advice is usually bullshit free and super honest.

7. Make time for yourself. Don’t run yourself ragged. Get enough sleep (ignore all this 7-8 hours rubbish, I need at least 9 to function properly) and drink lots of water. If you have kids (I don’t) I’m not going to patronize you by suggesting helpful tips – I guess just try to get through the day. After seeing some of my friends with their newborns I am in total awe of you.

8. Challenge negative behaviour. I know this can be hard (I once accused a UK CEO of sexism) but if you don’t say something it normalises the behaviour and makes you part of the problem. I have this argument all the time about people who say “it doesn’t matter if I say policeMAN” or “why wouldn’t I call her Mrs …, she’s married”. The semantics themselves aren’t the point but they’re part of the bigger issue. As far as I’m concerned, someone’s gender is irrelevant to their job title just as their marital status is irrelevant to their name. If someone chooses to become a Mrs then that’s totally their decision, but don’t assume that’s the default reaction to marriage. I could expand on this topic but that’s not the point of this post so I’ll return to the subject in the future.

9. Remember that we’re here for a good time not a long time. Don’t beat yourself up about past mistakes. Don’t obsess over small issues. Try to get things in proportion. My nan used to tell me “you die if you worry, you die if you don’t so why worry at all”.

10. Be nice. I can’t state this enough. I’ve had my fair share of negativity thrown at me in the past and it can be incredibly hard to rise above it. You need to remember that people who say nasty things only do it to make themselves feel better about what I can only assume are deeply sad little lives. Pity the haters who need to stoop to that level. Remember that jealousy will get you nowhere.

Spread the love people!

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