Linkedin is doing a series called “If I Were 22” to give advice to young professionals coming to the workplace. You will see this on my Linkedin page.
Linkedin asks “If I Were 22…” So, we’re going from the time period of September 24, 2005 – September 23, 2006. Here’s what I say to my young self:
- Hey bud, a bit doughy, but good thing about the internet: there are tons of recipes for healthy food and there’s a game console that let’s you move and it gives you a sweat (but you can still eat the good stuff; just don’t do it frequently).
- I wish I discover Facebook and Twitter sooner. It would of been helpful in my studies, finding a job, and marketing. Good thing you kick Myspace to the curb.
- Good thing you started a blog.
- I agree, I don’t like the short hair look.
- It’s also a good thing you had a lot of work and a lot of turbulence at your workplace. It will make you stronger later on.
- Holy crap, you cut your face by shaving during the day of your interview…after Christmas Day…and you got the job?
- Dude, don’t be bitter about not getting a minor degree in Film & Media Studies. Technology in the future changes everything.
- Wait, you graduated college in 2005 and you still got a SHRM student discount after graduating one year after? Lucky!
- Sorry about your SHRM experience that it rained all week and your phone was destroyed. Oh, why did you buy a Blackberry in the first place?
- Should of bought an iPhone.
- Wow, that intern was wearing those pants very low…and wore sandals. Why you didn’t turn arou…oh.
- That Dutch lady is still yelling isn’t she?
- I wish I can be fluent speaking in multiple languages like my other HR co-worker. The language barrier and time zones were pretty tough.
- I wish you had a little more fun and stop reminiscing the past (ahem, NPR).
- I wish you attended more happy hours and networking events.
- I wish you could walk from your workplace in DC to Virginia Square to save money on the Metro.
- You had no idea Morton’s Steakhouse was a block away? You could had all the steak sandwiches and blue cheese fries during Happy Hour (and yes, you still be fat, but if you knew it’s a 45-minute walk from DuPont Circle to Virginia Square, you would be overweight, at best).
- You needed to buy a laptop at the time.
- You can ignore your parents advice, but they will still nag for disobeying like the unwritten rules of baseball, even though some of the time, you’re right.
- Our parents wanted us to follow orders so you can make steady money. Remember, they’re risk-adverse. They even don’t want a garage sale or sell precious keychains and custom made purse made from pearls. They worry about everything. All you have to do is block it away, although you will hear the same thing everyday and it’s hard not to escape it. They’re trying their best to motivate you…they just don’t keep up with the times and they want to re-live in the past like you sometimes do when it was more simpler.
- I wish you open up more and don’t take everything seriously.
- People will push you around, but glad you didn’t sell out.
- I’m glad you found a place to hang out amidst the craziness at work at Rumors. Jess ,the bartender, was pretty cool (and still is the coolest bartender you still met) and you had a frequent Rumors visitor who took a similar path like you…except she now lives in Seattle. We both love D.C. so much. Why we torture ourselves?
- You should of gone to Indianapolis to see George Mason play in the Final Four, even though you knew they were going to get crushed by Florida.
- Should of started reading HR blogs.
- This was your first year of work. Be happy you have this opportunity, even though it’s not gone your way. Be grateful for it. There will be tough times, but there are people who support you. Most don’t have that. Stay positive and be faithful, even though our parents are breathing down our necks.
Advice for recent graduates:
For the students who are trying to enter the working world; my general advice is to play the game that is given to you. Follow what’s going on. When you establish the knowledge and skills, then change the game to make your company better.
Also, everything has an expiration date. Try to get out at the right time. Nothing stays successful forever. Companies are not loyal, and you shouldn’t be loyal to them. Do what’s best for you.
Finally, and this is the toughest part, is be who you are. Employees, companies, random people, et al will try to either change you or be a different person, but think of it as a 2-3 year mental contract. Stick to who you are. You might have to compromise, but make sure it is best for not only you, but for the company.
By the way, you can contact me if I can help you with something. Look to the right of the page to contact me.
For 22-year old Tracy: there are many things I wanted to change, but I don’t regret the choices I made. You have a big heart and a crazy mind (and still do). You will evolve as a person, but don’t ever change who you are.