8 answers

What is one thing you wish you knew before starting your career?

Updated Houston, Texas

8 answers

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas
Hi again Mireia! I love your questions! I work helping people to find jobs. What I wish I knew is how focused the social services are on "measurements." 1. How many customers did you help today? 2. How many job referrals did you give? etc etc etc Unfortunately, it is more important to give out a bunch of job referrals than it is to make sure the client has a good resume or is able to hold their own in an interview. That is because whoever funds us desires "accountability" so everything has to be measured. It's not possible to measure the effect of talking with someone for 20 minutes and boosting their self-esteem, or helping them develop a resume that will get them to the next step. I love what I do, and get a lot of positive feedback from my customers. I could do without the statistics! Kim
Thank you for your insight and I'm sorry to hear about that. Just remember that in the eyes of those you are helping you are not just a statistic and thanks to you, they don't feel like one either.

Dr. Ray’s Answer

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

Dear Mirela,

Your question really made me stop and think. I had very little idea of what it meant to work as a psychologist on a day to day basis. I originally wanted to teach at a university level but couln't get a job there. However, in retrospect I am glad i didn't go this route. Academic positions as a rule don't pay well and the politics and infighting among faculty members can be really vicious. After working in several mental health centers I went into private practice, which was immensely rewarding. However I wish I had known more about running a business. In addition to working with my clients I had to think about marketing, billing, paying taxes, etc., none of which was ever addressed in my training.

One of my professors told me "a degree is as good as your first job." Even if you are well prepared in a given field there will be many things you never thought of and have to learn once you start working, but this can be fun and needn't be unpleasant.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Douglas’s Answer

Updated Easton, Massachusetts
Interesting question. I do not have an answer to what I wished I knew. But, the one thing I did know is that I did not ever want to quit. If I chose to do something, I would carry it to completion. I did not always do "great", but I always finished.
Thank you for your insight!

Alwyn’s Answer

Updated Brockton, Massachusetts
Having insight into how humans interact with computational devices and what triggers them to action. In effect, I would have wanted to study behavioral psychology and human factors - each with skills that would have enhanced my expertise.
Thank you for sharing!

Victoria’s Answer

Hi Mireira, I love your question and wish more people would ask these type of questions before starting their careers! Though many answers come to mind, to me the number one thing I wish I knew before starting my career was to have fun and travel a little before starting my full-time career.

It's important to work hard in college, work to obtain internships to gain experience, and work hard to develop your personal brand, but I wish I had taken some time to explore the world after college. You have the rest of your life to work, so don't wait until retirement to take time to get to know yourself outside of the college "bubble"!

Good Luck!

Victoria recommends the following next steps:

  • Get advice from trusted advisors and mentors about their experience.
  • Spend time thinking about the career you want to enter into and see how much work/life balance they provide.
  • Set personal goals and work hard to achieve them, along with your career goals!

Naimah’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Mireia!

Thank you for a good question, that got me thinking...

There are always matters we realize in hindsight, and wish we knew before starting something. For me personally, I would say that I wish I knew the power of not being afraid to ask for help when needed.

I'm more of a shy person, in life and at work. I have come to see the value, and impact, of asking questions or for help when I need it. It's beneficial to those you are working for, as they get insight into your status or progress, or if you need additional assistance or resources. It's beneficial for you as you don't have to go about figuring things out on your own, you are able to share your thought process on a matter and get guidance on what the better or correct method would be.

So keep asking questions.

Emilee’s Answer

Updated Greensboro, North Carolina

I wish I had known that it's ok to start in one career and make changes along the way. I started my career in public accounting and after thinking about what I like most about my job it led me to switch into a human resources role at the same company. You never know where your career will take you, so don't be afraid to make changes and say yes to various opportunities along the way.

Jordan’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

I wish I knew the importance of asking questions. Often times, when people start a new role, they try and stay in the background and blend in, however, that is the optimal time to ask questions in order to better understand what you should be doing.