September 4, 2020
Ask Allyson: What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self
ASK ALLYSON: I’m just starting out in my career and feeling all the feels. Scared, hopeful, uncertain, and excited to name a few. Scared because I’ve just landed my dream job and I don’t want to mess it up. Hopeful that I’m going to do big things with my career. Uncertain about the future and how to navigate my career. Excited because I know I’m on my way. Is this normal? When you were starting out did you ever wake up in the middle of the night in a panic that you didn’t know what you were doing? What advice would you give now to your younger self about your career? -Your Younger Self
Dear Your Younger Self,
First, take a few deep breaths (slow in through the nose and exhale fully through your mouth). Now, remember to keep breathing. We’ve all been there — I’ve been there. It’s ok to feel the all the ways you do, to feel different things, to feel them all at once, or not to feel them at all. While it’s been many, many years, I can still remember exactly how I felt when I was starting out in my career (I also remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I accepted the offer for my internship in NYC — in my car, sitting outside of the Chinese restaurant that I was hosting at just before my shift). As someone with a fear of the unknown who’s also afraid of failing, I get it. Not only did I want to know what was next, but I wanted to know how to get to there the “best” way. Spoiler alert: neither happened (and they still don’t). If I could talk to my younger self, I’d want to tell her so many things. How trying to control everything won’t help. That perfection is overrated. To stop worrying about the future and focus on enjoying the moment. That there is no best way. That everything will work out better than you could have ever dreamed. So if I was going to give one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be to work hard and be nice. No matter what you’re doing, do your best. And be nice to everyone, especially yourself. Doing these two things will make everything easier. I promise.
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