Young Professionals: 5 Things That Really Matter
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

(Image: Thinkstock)

When you’re young and just starting on your career path, there are mistakes made and triumphs celebrated. But what if you could avoid a few of the bumps along the road altogether?

Writer Karen Vitale offers keen insight on what she would tell her 20-year-old self if she could turn back the hands of time. She writes, “If only career tracks came with fast-forward and rewind buttons. (Or a blue police call box, for those who like to time travel in style.) Who better to guide your career than your future self?”

Here are a few key things Vitale would tell her younger self that you can learn from:

Beware of gossips, liars and bullies.
On a bad day, some workplaces can seem no different than a glorified high school. And even in the best-managed companies, it pays to keep in mind that no one’s got your back like you do.

Learn how to navigate these tricky waters early on to get a better sense of who you are and what you stand for. Peer pressure is alive and well in the workplace. And if it’s your boss pressuring you to adopt a shady strategy, “just say no” requires a bit more finesse.

A bar can be a great place for team bonding or networking—but know your limits.
If Mad Men has taught us anything, it’s that witty repartee comes so much easier with a drink in hand. But it can be a short, stumbling walk from social drinking to sloppy behavior for some. Know what’s reasonable for you if you want to stay on your game, and stay well within that range, even if it means not keeping pace with others.

Read more at Brazen Careerist…

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.