Today I’m off to a business conference in Boston called INBOUND so I wanted to make today’s blog post a little more career-focused. I know I’m about to learn so much over the next few days and I can’t tell you how much I love these kind of events, but before I get there I wanted to share a few pieces of career-advice that have really stuck with me over the past few years. Pieces of advice that I go back to nearly every single day!
This post is also another part of my exciting collaboration with New York brand, Louise et Cie , and seeing as I spent a whole year here in New York working with this brand on the digital marketing team, it’s also very fitting to tie it all in together today. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my career so far were learned while I was working with Louise et Cie, so I still take such pride in the fact that I’m now teaming up with the brand here on my blog.
Photos by Tara
Before I get started on the career-advice section, let’s quickly chat about this months Louise et Cie favourites. It’s funny, I think every time I go to wear new pieces from her collection, I think to myself oh these are definitely my favourite shoes/bag so far. But I seem to say that every single time, haha!! Her pieces just keep getting better and better. I’ve been wearing the brand since I started working there nearly 2 years ago now and I’ve seen it go from strength to strength ever since. The star-piece from this post, in my opinion, is this STUNNING black bag. Not only is it 100% practical (really safe pockets inside), but every single detail of it’s design is, as usual, thought out to a tee. Get ready to see a lot of this bag here on Retro Flame! The grey flat shoes are also such a gem. I do love a good flat shoe here in New York and these ones have been getting lots of compliments so far. They also come in black too, if you fancy a look!
…& now that we’ve had our fashion chat (most important as always), it’s time for me to share the 6 pieces of career-advice that have helped me most so far.
1. Always go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.
It was in one of my very first internships that somebody said this exact quote to me and it has stuck with me in every single job I’ve done since then. The key is to focus on making a big impact immediately. We live in a world where first impressions are everything and people judge a lot quicker than they should, so you just have to put yourself in a position to stand out. Employers notice effort, you my readers notice effort and everyone around you notices effort. It’s always easy to see who is putting in the work and more often than not, these are the people who will rise a lot quicker than the ones who are not. It’s easy to be good at your job, but never settle at ‘good’.
2. Not taking risks is risky.
In life and in your career, if you just continue on doing exactly what you did yesterday, you will never get ahead. Or at least it will take you a long long time to do so. When you decide to take a risk on something, whether you end up succeeding or it’s the biggest fail of your life, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you learn on the way. It’s those risks that will keep pushing you on towards your dreams & goals, even though you mightn’t even realise it at the time. So move on from that job that is doing nothing but holding you back, start that side-business you’ve always dreamed of and pitch that new idea at work. It can be scary, yes, but the reward when it all comes together will be better than you even imagined.
3. Never sell yourself short.
Ever. If your heart isn’t in a job or a project and you know you could do a million times better, please don’t do it just because it’s a ‘job’. Life is short, you’re a lot better than you think you are and there is just no settling allowed. We live in a world where opportunities are just waiting for us to grab them, so don’t let some other silly job get in the way. Always follow your gut, it’ll never lead you astray.
4. No experience is a bad experience.
I spoke a lot about my career path so far in my ‘Why I Quit my Job‘ blog post and although some of my jobs/internships along the way have been a far cry from glamorous, I don’t regret any of them for a single minute. Here in New York alone, I’ve worked in jobs where I just didn’t fit in, in jobs where my main purpose was to do the work no one else wanted to do, in jobs where some people still didn’t know my name after 3 months and in jobs where I just didn’t feel appreciated. There’s a reason I’m not still in any of those jobs today but there is no denying that I’ve learned so many lessons along the way, which I now apply to my own work. We’ve all had jobs & experiences which we wouldn’t go back to for all the money in the world, but those experiences help shape the path that lays ahead. So even if you absolutely hate where you are right now with work, I promise you, you’ll look back eventually and realise that it helped you in some way get to where you wanted to go. Always aim to make the most of every single situation, no matter how good or bad it may be.
5. The more you do early in your career, the more it will pay off later in life.
Back in the day, when most of my friends were heading off to California to spend their Summer on a beach, I had somehow decided that my bright idea was to come to New York to intern (a.k.a get A LOT of coffee, haha!) and start climbing my way up the ladder. The funny thing is though that it didn’t bother me for one single second that I had sacrificed a Summer on a beach. I knew in my heart that it would pay off. I still owe so much to what I learned during my Summers in New York and I genuinely don’t think I’d be at the stage I’m at now without that experience. Same goes for when I was working full-time at Louise et Cie. I loved my role there but I also loved my evenings working on Retro Flame. Yes, of course, I had to make some sacrifices and miss some nights out, but putting in those long-work weeks finally lead me to the stage where I’m now blogging full-time here in New York. Putting the effort in early on, will ALWAYS pay off in the long-run.
6. The harder you work, the luckier you get.
And finally, the number ONE piece of career-advice I’ve ever recieved was, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” It just speaks for itself. It’s a quote I look to on both the days I feel disheartened and the days a project comes through. In my eyes, it’s the secret to success. If you want something, all you have to do is work for it. As I mentioned, I’m off to Boston today for the INBOUND conference and the first speaker is my all-time favourite, Gary Vaynerchuck. Something he always says is, “The Law of attraction only works if you do ” and I couldn’t agree more. Good things come to those who work for them so if you want them, it’s time to get stuck in!
I really hope you found this post useful! As I mentioned, I’m so excited to learn a lot more this week at INBOUND and I’ll be sharing everything on my Instagram @retroflame and Snapchat (retroflame1) if you want to follow along.
Have a lovely Tuesday!