20 Lessons People Wish They’d Known When Starting Their Careers

If I knew then what I know now!

LinkedIn has asked people the top 20 lessons they wish they’d known when starting their careers and has shared the results

Perhaps unsurprisingly, coming in at number one is ‘knowing that work-life balance is important.

Whereas knowing it’s OK to say “no”‘ scooped the second position, while ‘being yourself at work’ took third place.

Also, results were slightly different for men and women in the workplace. More women (17%) said ‘creating boundaries to prevent burnout’ was important – compared to just 12% of men. Likewise, ‘not taking a job just for the salary’ and ‘knowing a career break is OK’ is also more important to women than men.

On the flip side, men voted ‘up-skilling on a regular basis’ and ‘finding people who inspire you’ as more valuable than women. 

Top 20 career lessons people wish they’d known at the start of their careers:

  1. A healthy work-life balance is important (27%)
  2. It’s okay to say no (26%)
  3. Be yourself at work (21%)
  4. It’s okay to make mistakes and fail (20%)
  5. Stick to your values (17%)
  6. Be patient (16%)
  7. Create boundaries and stick to them to prevent burnout (15%)
  8. Don’t be scared to ask for a pay rise (14%)
  9. Don’t be afraid to take risks (14%)
  10. Be open to feedback (14%)
  11. Don’t take a job just for the salary (13%)
  12. You don’t have to tick every box of a job description (13%)
  13. Be open to career changes and pivots (13%)
  14. Find people who inspire and motivate you (13%)
  15. Up-skilling on a regular basis is crucial (12%)
  16. A career break is okay (11%)
  17. Connecting with others about work is important (11%)
  18. Never lose perspective (10%)
  19. Invest in building a good relationship with your boss and colleagues (10%)
  20. Be your own cheerleader (10%)