What is the one piece of advice you had known before starting your working life?

I graduate university at the end of the year and am trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life.

I wondered what piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self or wish you new before you starting working?

Sometimes you have days at work which are genuinely boring, so make sure you do something you enjoy 99% of the time.


Any job is better than no job and it’s easier to find a job when you already have one. Holding out for that perfect job isn’t a good idea


Job hunting sucks,but just keep at it and eventually someone will hire you


I would probably tell myself “don’t be afraid of moving to a new city”. Limiting my search, and taking a role, in my home city has seriously limited my career progression so far.

I imagine some people will recommend going travelling or taking a gap year but let’s be honest, it’s not realistic for everyone and tbh I much prefer “travelling” (I.e. going on holuday) now because I actually have money and can go where I want and do anything without giving it much thought


Be ambitious. Don’t doubt yourself. I spent the first 5yrs or so of my career never really pushing for a raise, just taking what I was given as it felt ‘fair’. I didn’t leave as I was in my comfort zone. 10yrs at that company (and incidentally met a lot of great people and had a lot of great opportunities there that I absolutely wouldn’t change). 18 months later though and I’m just about to make a second job change. I’ll be earning double what I was around 18 months ago (and over 5x my starting salary at that job). I was scared to pitch myself for that much of a gap initially as I felt I was only ‘worth’ what I was being paid. The new company snapped me up. I’m still doing what I love, and I’ll have a more comfortable life. Be brave.

Edit: typos


Start your pension ASAP.

Get yourself a treat each month but don’t stretch your budget :ok_hand:


Also so much this. I’m earning around double what I was earning 3 years ago, but my job happiness is the biggest and best change.

The last year of my life has changed so much, and 2018 was probably the best year of my life. My 2019 career has got off to a flying start as well.

Make sure you get back what you give, or you’ll resent doing the job you do.


Yes. Start your pension in week one. Seriously.


Take a cut out of your pay for savings/pension at the start of the month. Don’t assume you can wait until the end of the month and sweep what’s left over, because there won’t be anything left over, you idiot. Kidding, you’re not an idiot, it’s natural human fallibility. But seriously, take the cut out of the front end before spending anything! Every month!


Mine would be get a job with as many perks as you can… like a pension… or a company car… anything that means you get to keep as much of your wages as you can each month…

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Agree with what others have said about a pension.
This would of been great advice to me when I upgrade my HSBC account at 18, instead they gave me a credit card with ppi.

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:man_facepalming: what a world we live in.

In my late teens I was moving home whilst quite ‘emotionally charged’. I turned up to the bank visibly tired and drained (hadn’t slept all night), stinking of booze (would have probably failed a breathalyser) and asked for a loan.

Bank: How much would you like to borrow?
Me: Not really sure.
Bank: How much can you afford to pay us back a month?
Me: Not really sure, maybe £100. I’m moving house.
Bank: OK, how about £2k over 2yrs, we can have the funds in your bank in under an hour.

Presto, it was done. I’d never had any form of credit before in my life, and the whole exercise probably took about 20mins. A year or so later, I defaulted. A great start to my financial history.

Thankfully all clear now, paid it off shortly after and in excess of 6yrs ago so my credit score is unaffected. And they wonder where the financial crisis came from? :man_shrugging:


Save 10% of anything you earn and never touch it. Cash in the bank will allow you the freedom to change direction or put down roots when the time is right.

Really wish I’d done that.


:point_up_2: what he said

Whilst I’m on a bit of a roll, here’s a few more nuggets from someone rapidly approaching middle age…Things I’d like to tell my 20-year-old self:

  • Nobody has all of the answers; everyone is mostly just winging it. What “everyone else is doing” may not be the right path for you, but it takes time and a certain amount of stubbornness to figure out what the right path for you is and to stick to it.

  • You can’t separate mental and physical health. Nutrition, exercise, and most importantly, sleep. Get those right and the world will seem like a completely different place.

  • Learn to cook, right now. Not only can you save a lot of money, you have control over what you put into your body (see the comment above). A wok or large saucepan; an onion, a few cloves of garlic, some ginger chopped and crushed, fried over some oil until soft; a few spoons of soy sauce and any veg you have in the fridge or freezer. The onion/garlic/ginger combo makes a good basis for pasta sauce and curry too.

  • Talk about your mental health --best friends, family, your GP, doesn’t matter, just talk. Your life and career will be more fruitful and rewarding for it.

  • Try to avoid borrowing money, unless it is for a house. Anything that depreciates and isn’t genuinely necessary; or are tools for making a living, walk away. This is especially true of cars, which depreciate almost as fast as the balance of your car loan.

Now, just need for someone to invent a time machine…