A letter to my 20-year-old careerist self about what really matters

A successful career woman shares her best advice with her younger, entry-level, job-hunting self. Recent grads and young professionals, take notes.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

This story originally ran on PR Daily in April 2013. It’s a classic catch-22: When you face big decisions early in your career, you don’t have tons of real-world experience to draw upon. And by the time you rack up a decent supply of workplace wisdom, you may feel like you no longer need career advice.

If only careers came with fast-forward and rewind buttons.

Who better to guide your career than your future self? I decided to write a letter to my younger careerist self. After all, I’ve learned a lot of hard-fought lessons in my 20-year career as a creative director and product developer.

Here’s the best of what I know now that I wish I’d known then:

Dear earnest, 20-year-old, job-hunting me,

1. Chill out.

I know you feel like everything is riding on this next interview. That this is it, the dream job, and blowing it means ruining your life.

But I’m here to tell you there is no magic career bullet. You will ace and flub interviews. You will get dream jobs, lose dream jobs, realize there are no true dream jobs, and life will march on.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.