It’s true what they say: there are things not taught in school that you need to know about the real world. These include things regarding your future career. At times, we only learn them once we commit the mistakes that would make us realize such things.

However, more than anything, these failures can be fruitful and should serve as reminders to not do them again.

Now, let us help you as we have for you the 5 career lessons you should learn by 30, lessons we gathered from career mistakes and experiences of other workers and/or professionals from different fields.

5 Career Lessons You Should Learn By 30

  1. There are chances that you encounter horrible bosses.

It’s almost an inevitable truth. Almost all of us have encountered at least one of those bosses who are total nightmares. They can make you dread going to work, no matter how much you love what you are doing.

DON’T’s: Do not attempt to improve or change your boss. Rather, change yourself. Learn to act and react better and to stay composed when you deal with your boss. Avoid complaining about your bad boss, especially to your co-workers. Simply put, do not give your boss anything that he/she can use against you.

DO’s: The good news is that you can make such encounters a greater learning experience than when you have a nicer boss. Think of it this way: you can observe the things your horrible boss does, and make mental notes of these things that you should not do as a leader. Of course, you should also know when the line is crossed and you have to take some action. This is when your boss gets to the point of violating your and your coworkers’ rights.

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  1. Know how long you should stay in a job.

When you feel like your career is not getting anywhere, it’s probably time to pause and take a look back. Are you still on the right track, or is it time to think over your career direction? One of the common advice given to newly-grads is that jumping in and out of different jobs in a short span of time makes a bad record and is a major turn off for employers. While this true, you should also know that overstaying can also be detrimental and can make you miss better opportunities.

DON’T’s: While times are tough and you need the money, it does not mean you just have to suck it up and get stuck in a job you do not like. Do not stick for too long if the job/position/company you are in does not fulfil you or your career goals. 

DO’s: When you just graduated and are in your 20’s, it’s quite natural to try different jobs, sometimes in different fields. This helps you gather information on what you like and what you don’t. In the end, this information can help you decide what you want to pursue. Other than that, each job that you try adds something new not only to your skills but also to your work experience. They are essential in building your resume/CV!

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  1. It’s better, to be honest, and own up to your mistakes than to cover them up.

Even professionals are guilty of doing this. It’s understandable; it is only natural that we look for ways to protect and save ourselves from the lecturing and criticism. However, sooner or later, you will realize that it will do you more harm than good to keep on covering up your mistakes.

DON’T’s: Avoid blaming other people for your mistakes. Not only will you be building tension between you and your co-workers; this is also not a good image to keep in the professional world.

DO’s: Rather than acting like you have no idea what happened, it is usually better to just be honest and responsible enough to own up to your mistakes. Sometimes, it’s just our fears getting ahead of us when the situation’s not actually that bad. So our suggestion is that once you make the mistake, immediately do damage control. Talk to your boss without being over-apologetic, and talk to him/her about how you are planning to address such issues/problems in the future. In the end, your boss might end up appreciating you more for your honesty.

  1. Your dream job might not be as what you think it is.

All of us dreamed of and vividly pictured ourselves working a certain job or profession, but not all of us are able to actually get them. So we would usually picture the great fulfilment if we were to get our dream job. However, your expectation of how things are in your dream job might be much different from how they are in real life.

DON’T’s: Do not let it get to you and discourage you from exerting effort. Do not be bummed out by the unmet expectations; instead, channel your energy into different things (hobbies, etc.) that can bring about a similar effect/result.

DO’s: While it’s not exactly as you had expected, it definitely offers new things you did not know. Focus on these new things. Make sure to ask yourself if it’s really the job you dislike; maybe it’s just the company, your boss, or the people around you. Sometimes, it is easy to confuse them. If your dream job ends up to be a job you really cannot stand, maybe it’s time to go in a different direction. If it’s not really the work but the people or the atmosphere in the office, maybe you need to work for a different company or start your own business.

  1. You will not always be rewarded for your hard work.

It’s sad but true: sometimes, even if you give your best, your efforts will not be appreciated and rewarded. You may have been taking overtimes to be considered for that coveted promotion, but your efforts might end up fruitless. Worst case scenario, you can even get laid off!

DON’T’s: Never lose hope. Make such disappointments your motivation to do more. Unfortunately, it’s not all just about hard work. There are also other factors that affect the events in your workplace, and not all of these are under your control. Therefore, do not beat yourself up too much in times like these.

DO’s: Keep on doing excellently in your job and make it a consistent thing. Give them more and more reasons to consider you so when there’s another position open for promotion, you have the justification to speak up for it.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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