OPINION: Career advice to share with the ages
I WRITE to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, and to understand what it means.
Grammar, to me, is a piano I play by ear. I love its infinite power, I am in awe of it. I'm often asked why I became a journalist, and that's the best I can do to describe it.
Everyone has a dream of what they want to be when they grow up, and it took me a long time to realise that all I wanted to do was write.
I had the pleasure of speaking at the Saint Mary's Year 7/8 Careers Day this week.
And while I may not have had the longest career, I have had large groups of people reading what I write for the past few years and it has given me an inflated sense of self-importance, so I imparted a few pieces of career advice onto those students.
And it occurred to me that there are a few adults who may need to hear them too. Here then, are those tips.
1. You don't have to have a dream right now
Most people I know who were sure of their career path when they finished school are no longer chasing those dreams.
There is no rush. You will get to where you're meant to get to, and it is okay to take the long way round.
2. Get good at what you want to do
Ideally, you want to be the best. I'm a writer, but I wasn't born a good writer. It is something you get better at by doing it over and over again, just like cooking, surgery or backflips.
Getting good at something takes hours and hours of practice. And if you're lucky, practising won't suck because you'll love what you're doing.
3. Never, ever turn down an opportunity to learn
In my opinion, which is correct until I decide to change it, life is best if you learn as much as you can about as much as you can.
Take pride in what you're doing, have compassion, share ideas, be endlessly enthusiastic.
4. Be true to yourself
My career finally started in my late 20s when I stopped trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be. The moment I started being true to myself, my life changed. Comparing yourself to anyone else in your life is poison.
Don't ever think that little old you isn't interesting to the rest of the world.
5. Be kind
To everyone, always. It seems obvious but you'd be amazed at how many people fail to understand its importance.
Not only will it make your life better, but it's really good career advice too.