If I were 22, I would try to let myself off the hook and really enjoy the ride. I would tell myself, “You will be successful on your own career path. All setbacks are not game-enders. AND- Your biggest joys in your professional life will not be directly related to your title or salary.”
1) You Will be Successful on YOUR own Career Path. Young, driven professionals worry about “doing the absolute right thing”. It is one of the reasons they are successful, but can also paralyze them when making decisions. If I could go back to my young, 22 year old self, I would say- calm down. You will be successful. Every career decision is adding to your tool kit that will ultimately drive your success, but there is no absolute right or wrong path to get there. I remember agonizing over where to accept a residency position, where to accept my first faculty position, whether to enter the corporate sector, whether to start my own business. Each time I made a decision, I knew a little more, grew a little more flexible, and grew a little more confident. I wish that young professionals who are driven to success could take a moment to breathe, search their minds and hearts for the best answer for THEM, and not worry about a right or wrong path. The truth is, the path you choose is YOUR path, and that is always the right one for you.
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