I don’t know about you, but as a teenager I always imagined myself having a career that catapulted me to success. I pictured myself being the ‘hot shot’ success, living the high life. I had big dreams, like most young people, and was certain that I knew what I wanted out of life – a degree and the career of my choice were my top priorities. 


While not every aspect of my life has gone *exactly* how I thought it would do, I can genuinely say that at 26-years-old I am where I want to be. I have been extremely lucky when it comes to my career and have managed to achieve the career success that I always dreamed of. 


However, it has not always been easy getting to where I am now – if I could go back and do things differently, there’s a lot that I would change in the search for achieving my ‘hot shot’ career. 


Bearing that in mind, below are some pieces of advice for achieving your dream career without making the same mistakes that I – and so many others – have made along the way. 


Always take initiative 


To succeed at what you love, whether that’s journalism – like me – or a career in law like one of my closest friends, you need to be willing to take risks. Every industry is saturated with talent, and getting a foot in the door can be extremely difficult. Today, employers are looking for people who can offer a new and fresh approach to things, which is why taking initiative when it comes to how you approach projects is so vital. When it comes to the projects I manage for my clients, I always like to add my own unique touch, and so should you. 


Assess yourself 


Don’t wait for your boss or client to assess you, always be assessing yourself. Set yourself goals and see if you achieve them. Look at the approaches you take to achieving certain goals, and be clear about the processes that you use – ask yourself is how you are working good enough? Always be mindful of your own approach to work and whether it is as productive and organised as it should be. 


Keep climbing the ladder 


Even when you are in a role that you’re comfortable in, ensure that you continue to develop your career. Just because you have found a role that you enjoy, that doesn’t mean you should stay in it for the foreseeable future. Instead, always be on the lookout for new roles – roles that could advance your career and help you achieve further success. Take my friend who works in law, for instance, she is always looking at different lawyers jobs to apply for. Why? Because she knows that you should never get too comfortable in a role and should constantly be climbing that ladder and moving your career forward. 



Never stop learning 


If you want to excel your career, you need to be ready and willing to constantly learn. As a professional, you need to be constantly challenging yourself to learn new things, otherwise, you limit your chances of career success. Read relevant industry news, attend webinars about your industry, book onto courses – learn constantly and as a result, you will achieve far more. 


So there you have it, my guide to having that ‘hot shot’ career your teenage self most probably dreamed of.