For International Women’s Day this year, four female members of the WSA team have written letters to their younger selves, answering the question, “What career advice would you give your younger self and why?”
Senior Front-End Developer
Dear young Jo,
What advice can I give you other than to do what you love (and what you’re good at), have confidence and approach every challenge with curiosity and passion. There will be times when your career may get tough or you’re not sure if you’ve taken the right path, but sometimes just following your gut will lead you in the right direction. That doesn’t mean jumping into a career move head first without considering your options, but be open to new opportunities.
Choose a career where there is a chance for progression and don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility – stepping outside of your comfort zone may seem scary and it’s very tempting to stay within the boundaries of what you know, but have the confidence to face your fears and have faith that you can achieve anything and others will too.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time at work – so make friends, challenge yourself, and always keep that beaming smile on your face!
Dear younger Grace,
Don’t stop believing in the ability that you can achieve change. When we grow up, ambition can be curbed and it’s important to remember only you have the power to accomplish everything you set your mind to. Keep up the enthusiasm for everything as this will take you many places (although your belief that you are the missing Spice Girl may have been slightly misguided!).
Always keep being curious – this will lead to accepting opportunities you never dreamt of. Having an endless imagination will help to fuel creative ideas and ignite your passion for writing – sometimes it pays off to be “away with the fairies!” Don’t limit your options. And finally keep being happy and smiley 🙂 x
Digital Marketing Executive
Dear young Laura,
People always ask, “what do you want to be when you grow up” and you always gave the same answer “a teacher!” What if I told you that now, that is the furthest thing from what you are doing, and you love every second of it!
I know that you are worried about your future and what it might bring, the only advice I can give you is to try not to worry too much about things that you cannot change.
You will always face challenges in life and your sensitive nature will mean that you will have to learn to have a thick skin. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and to go with your gut, it is important to take chances in life and those chances will pay off for you in the end. Push yourself out of your comfort zone any time you can and make sure you learn as much from other people as possible!
Most importantly, be yourself, be happy and confident in your decisions. The people who matter won’t care and the people who care don’t matter!
Senior PR & Marketing Account Manager
Hi young Sue
When I was your age, I dreamt of being a doctor or nurse – someone who could help people to live a full and wonderful life – heal them and send them on their way. But when I fainted at the sight of blood I knew it wasn’t for me!
Taking a step into PR was the best thing I have ever done. What better way than to meet lots of interesting people? Luckily my boss at Mercedes recognised my potential and gave me the chance to write for the customer magazine and I have never looked back. From the automotive industry to the travel industry, I have been lucky enough to see the world and take journalists along with me.
My advice to you, young Sue, is to follow your heart – decide what you want to do and make sure you get on with achieving your goals. Be determined, be passionate, be compassionate but most of all, believe in yourself and others will too!