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What are some of the biggest mistakes you made trying to get into your career?

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Nino!
This is a great question!

While still in college, the biggest mistake I made was walking away from an unpaid internship working with the city's top investigative reporter. I had made a stupid mistake on day one, and was too humiliated to go back. We were working on a really big story. I still regret that decision to this day.

In my first job, the biggest mistake I made was in not responding to "opportunity knocking." I didn't really know what I wanted to be, but, somehow ended up in the police academy. I was enjoying it, and envisioned myself becoming a police officer. One of the instructors tried to get me to leave the academy and become an insurance fraud investigator. He was going to help me get the job. It was with a really good company. But I just looked at it as derailing me from the path I was on, and turned it down.

Another mistake I made was in not conquering my fear of public speaking. There were various opportunities for me to advance my career, such as in becoming a police training instructor, but I let the fear of public speaking hold me back. If you find yourself in this situation, I encourage you to join Toastmasters and work on your skills.

I hope you will be able to learn from the mistakes others have made, and not make the same ones!


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Misbah’s Answer

Well personally I would say we learn from our mistakes and grow into what and who we want to be.
I think one of my mistakes was not listening to my gut feeling / instinct, and ended up doing something which my family and society wanted me to do. Much later I realised that yes you can earn money and still do something you are passionate about and be the best at it. For me it was numbers and technology. I have always had a passion for finance, valuation and investment banking. Recognising that, this is what brings me happiness took sometime but I got there eventually and I think I am hitting every small milestone I have set for myself, towards my greater goal.

So one of the learnings rather than mistakes is that always listen to your instincts. Try multiple things, read a lot, read about people's career trajectory, success and failure stories and you will know what brings a smile to your face or even a sense of accomplishment.

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Serena’s Answer

Hi Nino,
What a great question to ask!
I would like to share my experience with you that you can take as an anecdote,
And reach your dream career in a more efficient manner.

In order to land an internship in the finance industry,
I was running in hundred different directions -
Applying online, attending job conferences and trying to make connections wherever I can.
My goal was to land whichever post I could, and I was draining myself.

By the time I received the offers, I realized for a lot of the jobs I applied for,
I wouldn’t want to intern there - which means I applied for applying sake,
Just to assure myself that I was doing something.

Be smart and sensible, be selective on your application,
Tier your target jobs to aspired jobs and safe choices,
Don’t tire yourself out and stay consistent.

Good luck!


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Farhan’s Answer

Hi Nino. Based on my experience, one should know all the pros and cons of the field they are trying to pursue as lack of information and insufficient details of the specific field can result in difficulty in going on with the profession. Thanks!