What Advice Would you give a Younger You Entering the Working World?

18 January 2018

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Hi, my name is Lauren, and I’m an Associate here at cazden (yes, the small “c” is deliberate!).
I’ve been working here at cazden coming on three years now, but my career hasn’t always been plain sailing, which got me asking myself and my colleagues the question: What advice would you give a younger you entering the working world? And the responses, quite frankly, are pretty great.
 
If I ask myself this question, I’d have to say:
 
“It’s ok to have more than one career in your lifetime. Don’t be afraid to try out a few things to see what takes your fancy. If you find your dream job the minute you step out of school, then great - you’re part of a lucky and very small group of people! But don’t be downhearted if you're flying through your 20s and still don’t have any idea what you're doing with your life. Appreciate the good parts, and as soon as the bad outweighs the good, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. Also, don’t feel pressured into going straight to university just because you don’t know what else to do and everyone else is doing it. A few years down the line, you’ll find yourself with a degree you don’t use and a lot of debt. It’s ok to take your time and in this day and age, you can study wherever and whenever you like. It’s also ok if your dreams change. People grow. Priorities change and situations develop. It’s ok to take a new path whenever you feel it’s right.”
 
Denise, one of cazden’s founders, said:
 
“I would give lots of advice to a younger me but these three would be the key ones.  
 
Have more self-belief.  
If you believe you can, you will.  Often the only barrier we have to achieving anything is our own negative thoughts.  I never see failure as something not working out, that’s just a learning experience.  Failure is not to try in the first place.  Be gung-ho and go for it!  In reality you have nothing to lose and only something to gain.
 
Make sure you do what you love and love what you do.
We spend most of our time at work so make it count.  I am truly blessed to be in my sweet spot as far as work is concerned.  I love my job and work with a great team so wouldn’t change it for the world (Aww, shucks. Thanks, Denise!)
 
However, to get here, I spent some time registering people for Council Tax which involved opening up letters containing razor blades and other not so nice things!  I don’t regret staying in that role for a couple of years as it made me stand out as someone who is not a quitter even when times are hard.  That helped me start my career in HR. They thought if I could deal with all of that then I could deal with anything that the HR world might throw at me.  They were right.  If you are currently in a role that you are not enjoying, do something about it. Take action now!
 
Finally, set the right work/home balance.  
This is something that I am still working on!  Make sure you work smart and have lots of fun along the way too.”
 
Lisa, a Resourcer and Administrator, said:
 
“Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t try and do EVERYTHING all at once. You’re not going to be able to complete absolutely everything on your to do list so don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s so much better to plan and prioritize and if you’re not sure ask someone more experienced. Let’s be honest, this is recruitment, there will always be a job somewhere that needs filled.”
 
Keeleigh, a fellow Associate, said:
 
My career only started in 2015 at the age of 32.
I had worked since I was 14 in many different roles starting in a bakery on Saturday mornings  and then on to pubs and bars whilst studying at 6th form. From the age of 18 I worked in many long term admin positions, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I was never phased by any of these roles. As long as I enjoyed them and made money for Wednesday night pub club I was doing ok! Occasionally, though, I wished I had the “oooomph” and drive to do more. 
 
Then, in 2015 I started a role on a temporary basis that just gave me the enthusiasm I needed to want a career. Something started that fire in my belly (I believe this was down to being the right role and company for me to shine with) and I’ve never looked back.
 
So, advice to my younger self would be: it doesn’t matter if you are not eager for a career from the day you leave school, don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do, when the right thing comes along, you will know. Just like I did.
 
Alastair, our newest addition to the cazden team (although that’s a bit novel because he’s been here for circa 6 months now) said:
 
When I was younger, I based my decisions on what would make me happiest at that point in time. There was no real thought given to my future and what my current decisions may hold for me moving forward. 
 
If I could go back and speak to my younger self, my advice would be to listen to the advice of others who have been there and done it. If I had done this, then I can only imagine where I would be today! 
 
However, I don’t have any regrets in my decisions, as the journey wouldn’t have been as interesting to get to where I am today: working with a great company and having my twin daughters and beautiful partner Sarah to help complete my happiness. 
 
And finally, Caryn, our other director and leader, said:
 
Trust and believe in yourself - you can do it!
You don’t need to work every hour of every day to be successful you just need to work smarter.
Listen! Learn to listen. You can't deliver if you don't know what is required.
Work to realistic deadlines: challenging but achievable.
Learn from your mistakes - what can you do different next time? 
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.

Prioritise and organise. Not everything needs to be done today just do what HAS to be done. 
At the end of the day ask yourself “what have I achieved today?” I always look for at least 3 things and if I don't have 3 then I don't leave till I do!
Lastly and most importantly - Love what you do! 
 
So, there you have it. What advice would YOU give to a younger you?

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