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20 Things About Work...If You're Just Starting Out

1. Get curious and stay curious. Learn where and how to find the answers.

Always be watching for work or play that you'll love, enjoy,
or that will fascinate you.

Learn how to get to your creativity.

Know how you learn best. Look up the nine intelligences by
Howard Gardner.

2. Work you love now may lose its charm over time.

Some work you can no longer do, or won't want to do as you
age. You probably don't believe that if you're young. Ask
some old timers.

Changes will happen that are beyond your control.

3. Work that you love can disappear.
To prevent surprises, look for work:

that can't be outsourced or sent overseas

that uses your creativity

that requires empathy

that is hands-on

that can't be automated

4. You can't be sure it's work you love until you've done it for a while.
You'll need some other kinds of work to compare it to.

Take time to try different things.

Be open to trying(almost)anything.

Talk to those who are doing or have done different work.

Old timers are the grand prize here, talk to them.

5. Be willing to work at something that doesn't appear to be
your first love.

There can be discoveries about things you never knew you

You'll be picking up different skills. You can't have too
many of those.

6. Mistakes are good.

They're the only real way to learn.

Don't make the same one twice.

Don't beat yourself up for making them.

7. Don't sell your soul for money, status or power.

You'll end up dissatisfied, sad and alone.

8. Learn how to handle money.

Know how, when and where to save and invest

Be allergic to debt.

Don't borrow for fun, borrow only to make an investment in
your future.

9. Pick work that will challenge you and make you think.

Look for ways to avoid boredom.

Amaze yourself with what you actually can do.

10. Always think of yourself as self employed, even when working for others.

Watch for skills you can use and then learn them.

Watch for your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and

Find the risk to reward ratio you are comfortable with.

Know that it's all about how well you take care of others.

Always do the right thing.

Solve the problem, get the result.

11. Attitude is everything.

Don't whine, complain, make excuses, blame others or behave
badly. These are not acceptable and they will cost you

There are the only four answers that those who will pay you
want to hear:



I don't understand

Sorry, my mistake, how can I fix it?

12. In the beginning you will have to do the bad work. Do it gracefully.

You're being watched to see if you're worth spending the
time and effort on to teach you the more advanced stuff.

Don't take offense too easily, but don't tolerate unethical
or abusive bosses.

Know that your patience, attitude and willingness to
cooperate will be tested.

13. If you quit high school, go get your GED.

You can do the work at your own pace and get it done

You must have at least a high school diploma for most decent
paying work now.

14. If you went to a public school, be grateful.

The social skills you learned mixing with a lot of different
people will be very valuable.

Social skill will do you more good than intelligence.

15. Don't go into debt for college unless:

You have a very clear goal that you're burning to accomplish
and no other way to get it done. Note: There's often
way if you get creative.

You try getting some hands on experience in that kind of
work before taking on the debt. See #2, "may lose it's charm
over time" up above.

You have done the math. You know how much paying back
student loans will drop your income over the years. This is
OK compared to the increase in lifetime income. You realize
that the income is never guaranteed. It is guaranteed that
you will be paying back the loan.

You think that college may be the best way for you to learn
something. Sample a few classes first, just to be sure.

16. Don't buy the myth that college is for smart people and the trades are for the dummies.

A smart, skilled tradesperson will make more in lifetime
income than many college graduates.

No student loans to pay back

Get paid from day one to learn the trade.

There's usually a shortage of those who can do this work
well, so, if you're good, it pays well.

It's easier to have your own business once you're skilled.

It's a portable skill. You can go almost anywhere and do it.

Re-read #3 about "hands-on" and "can't be outsourced or sent

17. Thinking about joining the military?

Wars traditionally make rich men richer and everyone else
pays the terrible price.

We do need a good national defense.

In trade for a large risk of being injured or killed, the
military will train you well.

Many employers value military training over schooling.

Military recruiters have been known to lie. Get any promises
in writing.

18. Watch for the different angles in life and how they'll play out.

Look for the big picture, the long view (how will it roll
out over time), try to see things from other peoples

You don't need absolute goals but be clear about where you want to go. Write that down

Trust yourself, particularly your intuition.

19. Be there - get up, get dressed, get in there.

90% of success is just showing up.

Being there IS the best experience.

20. Be kind, be flexible, have a sense of humor.