If you could go back to 22, what are some things you would tell your younger 22nd year old self?

I turn 22 today! 🎂

I love gaining a new perspective from these stories by hearing people's stories and journey transitions throughout their life! With that being said, what are some things you would have told your 22nd year old self? <333

Let's make this a thread that the early career folks like me can reference! <3

P.S. I'm making a youtube video on the lessons I've personally learned before turning 22, but if you are comforatable I would also love to include other women's tips at the end of the video as well!

That sounds like a great idea!!What I wish I knew at 22 that are a bit career oriented:- Picking the right manager is crucial at that age in your career - Don't have a very long term career plan that early, some roles you may not even discover by then
I like your second point. I've gotten in the habit of outlining a vision of where I want to be in 10 years, and working backwards to outline a plan. But then I redo the vision and rewrite the plan every 2 years.
+1 on manager!I'm not sure if I were ever at the liberty to "pick" a manager, but I completely agree with the sentiment of recognizing manager-report relationships, understand what you need from your manager as someone early in your career to grow, and to not let yourself be stuck in toxic manager relationships or work environments!
I'd tell my 22-year-old self not to work overtime so much, because work never really ends.
Young age also has the highest earning potential. Perhaps work smarter not harder?
See the world more and experience different cultures. I got a job right away, and in hindsight I wish I had taken a coupe months to a year off and worked at hostels or something like that, and travelled (I wouldn't have been able to afford travelling without getting paid)
Great prompt - I would tell 22 year old me to really nurture all relationships - from anyone you work with, to people you live around, school classmates, etc. You just never know when and how you will run into people further down the road. I would also tell them to risk it a little when it comes to paid work - try something new and different. This can be challenging at times, depending on your situation. I had to move away from home immediately after college. But, with that said, it's okay to rough it out a little and try things that excite you.
These are all so amazing! Let’s keep this thread going— I love reading all these comments and learning from everybody. I wrote a blog post on my personal lessons before turning 22 this week— would love for y’all to check it out and lmk your thoughts!
I wish I knew I had the freedom to choose my career and its development. I wish I stood up for myself and did my masters. Now I am older I have an opportunity to work but not flexibly. As in where I want.
You are never too late to get your Masters. Masters can be earned while working. Your company may have tuition remission for job related reimbursement or 100% coverage, with contingency to remain good standing. I know a few ppl in 30’s who worked, raising kids and completing masters degree. It is more difficult because as we age more responsibilities are presented to us. If you have the will, you will have the way! 💪🏼💪🏼🥊🥊
Agreed. I started my masters program when I was just shy of 36, and will graduate when I'm just shy of 40. This was to support a career pivot (marketing to data science).
Career oriented things I wish I did/said when I was 22:- Picking the right manager can make a whole lot of difference (as someone else mentioned)- Don't be part of the rat race- If there are unwanted touches or sleezy comments in your workplace, speak up.
1) Make as many allies in every workplace that you can, and not just people in your age group, but all across ages. Everyone has expertise to share. 2) To build allies, you have to bring something. The smartest people can figure out your talent. They also can tell if you’re worth their time.3) IRL, people will be your friend because they like you. In business, because you are valuable or useful. Don’t take it personally, just know the difference.4) Don’t let a bad manager block you. Find a way around them - your allies can help.5) Know what’s important to you - and understand that it will change.
great advice!
Oh, man. To my 22 year old self, I wish I could say: You have complex PTSD, my Love. Prioritize your trauma healing above all else. Seriously. Every thing else. I onlyFound this out at 40, so I wish I’d known back then.
Many factors determine change of decisions: 1) social 2) financial 3) emotional 4) relational 5) physical health. Studies have shown that ppl who grew up in the upper class have resources that an average low income person do not. Ex: Support from family/friends who are in power and influences. Maybe the biggest ones are: have better listening skill,more empathy and higher eq to better relate and communicate with ppl.
I’d tell my 22 year old self not to worry so much, that there’s so much life ahead and to live a little. I’ll tell her to take risks, ask questions, fail forward and love more.
I’d tell myself to start therapy even though there are days when I feel fine. I’d tell myself to get out of that toxic relationship ASAP, you don’t owe anyone anything. And I’d tell myself to travel more!
Happy belated birthday Rina!! - You know nothing about life yet so be humble and be open minded but learn to be discerning when listening to advice/feedback!- In any relationship, know your non negotiables and be upfront about them
Work on pretending to be a people person.Start your blog earlier.Don't even use LinkedIn beyond advertising your work. The strife isn't worth it.
"You are not invincible. Take care of yourself!"
I would most like to tell my 22 year old self to stress less, there will always be more work & prioritising your own wellbeing is just as important as advancing your career. Another big one which I have seen in the comment that I couldn't agree with more would be to choose the right mentors/managers, it makes the world of difference!
Happy belated birthday! One—potentially controversial—piece of advice that served me well in my early 20s: Worry less about mastery of a single skill, more on a breadth of experiences.First, you'll be better equipped to decide what you want and don't want to do with your life. Second, when you do find the thing you want to develop mastery in, you'll bring to it a unique set of experiences no one else will.
- Stay open to where your career and interests can go! (Don’t make a rigid plan and think you have to stick to it)- find a mentor you can trust and learn from early! Can be your specific manager or just someone you develop a relationship with that is further along. Stay in touch and always be open to how you can help them in return!- ask for what you want! Especially comp!! Don’t be afraid… the worst that can happen is they say no or not yet! - SPEAK UP! Don’t be afraid to join the table and have a say. Your age/experience doesn’t quality you from having an opinion or not! 💜💜💜
I agree with all points above.
I'd remind myself that the world changes constantly. What matters to you and everyone else today can abruptly disappear. Don't confuse passion with permanence. Be prepared to change careers and priorities. Don't make sacrifices to your health to show your commitment to something that can vanish seemingly overnight.When I was 22 in 1988, the Web didn't exist. Computers were treated as (boring) business utilities by most of us. I'd put most of my academic energy into studying the Soviet Union, a country which ceased to exist just a few years later. I would have never thought that by this time I'd be sitting in front of a computer chatting with you all instead of thumbing an issue of Pravda. When you 20-somethings are my age, what once-solid things have melted into air? Write yourself a list, save it somewhere--it'll be full of surprises.
Find a mentor! In fact, find multiple mentors! I waited far too long to do this. It would have been so very helpful for me early in my career to have someone more experienced to help me navigate things. Also, ALWAYS negotiate salary offers. That's also something I took far too long to figure out and I'm mad at all the money I probably left on the table in the past.
Great advice here already! I would tell my 22 year old self to try many things and pay attention to what resonates with you before settling on a direction. This may take some time. Ask people you admire to be mentors. Periodically make a list of your accomplishments and future goals and check that these goals still make sense for you. Learn to advocate for yourself and don't wait for others to notice you. Accept praise and criticism with a grain of salt. Take work seriously but don't let work consume your life. If you can, always choose the most generous interpretation for the actions of others.
So many learnings from my 22nd year! The one's that specifically stand out to me: +Lean into the "learning years": You will learn so much in the next few years and the learning you do now will help you so much in the future. A lot of people chase a title or compensation, and while those are important, the learning that comes now is so vitally important. Money and fancy job titles often come later, so don't focus so much on them.+Surround yourself with people that make you better: This goes for coworkers and friends which, at 22, are often the same. Sometimes the most "fun" people aren't the ones who are going to lead you down the right path but the ones who are smart, caring, empathetic, ambitious are those that will bring out the best version of you and support you when you need it.+Learn how to public speak and how to communicate with leaders: The more polished and professional you are when presenting your work or communicating with leadership the more seriously you'll be taken and the more opportunities you'll get +Nothing is the end of the world: I had a major career stumble when I was 23. At the time I thought I had irrevocably hurt my career. Newsflash: I didn't. Mistakes happen, that's often where you learn most. How you recover from mistakes matters so much more than trying to avoid them at all costs.
I would reassure myself that the tragedy at that time actually made me the person I want to be, not the one I believed I wanted to be. Essentially, it may seem terrible, but it is a lesson. It may also seem wonderful, but that is another lesson. Spending time being my own best friend is the best thing I ever finally committed to.
I am only 25 but I would certainly tell my 22 year old self to wait before jumping into a Masters program. I know that it may not relate but I would say in general it is OKAY to take the time you need to figure out your passions because working towards them at 22 will really help 25 year old you. Also happy belated birthday!
Happy belated birthday! 🎂I would tell her to stop worrying about choosing the right path. That there isn't one "meant to be" and that a person can end up studying and working in different fields. That it's OK not to know for sure what you want to become.
That career exploration is a process that does not have to take years or decades. That it is feasible to clarify with confidence your ideal, best fit role, industry and environment through practical learning and reflection. That there are many typical limiting mindsets people use to make career decisions that aren't the best ways of making those decisions. That your first job is statistically one of the most impactful to your overall career path and its important to choose your next direction wisely as early and often as possible. That career exploration is a phase to pursue before job searching, so your direction is clear before applying anywhere. P.S. I'm Rachel, a Career Exploration Coach and I'd be happy to chat with anyone who wants to discuss their career questions, struggles, and next steps :) I offer a free 20 minute coaching call here: (Website here for reference -
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Tech, tech, tech. At 39 I really wish I had known how in-demand tech roles would become. Also, just because you don't like your job doesn't mean the grass will be greener if you jump ship at the first opportunity. Really weigh the pros and cons of any company/offer.
Do not leave Tech! Even when companies threaten to offshore you job. If you are good at your work, you will remain employed.
Belated happy birthday! :) I would tell 22-year old me to consciously think and learn to balance work and life better. Though it is way easier to pull all nighters at that age, try to find ways to work in a time-boxed fashion so all nighters are not necessary. It may be difficult to do this, but helps a lot in the future with health, wellness and productivity.
Oh man, at 22, I was just graduating and looking for a job after college. Almost joined the Air Force... I might tell my college-senior self "take a couple finance/accounting and marketing classes before you graduate", and my post-grad self "go for the Air Force. Wait for a new recruiter and join instead of taking that job offer." Or maybe "travel more before you have kids"
I would tell her to continue investing in herself. Create her own rules. Adhere to the beat of her own drum kit, unapologetically.