10 Lessons from Year 2 in the Real World

Dress: Anthropologie (old, similar) | Purse: Goyard
Sunglasses: Prada | Necklace: Van Cleef & Arpels | Watch: Cartier

My second year in the real world is coming to an end, and I am about to start my third year of working. Last year I posted some lessons I learned, and I thought I would repeat it for my second anniversary. While some of the lessons below are not necessarily "new," they were ones that I felt were consistently being reinforced throughout the past year.

  1. Be your own critic and be good about accepting constructive feedback. Be hard on yourself, but reward yourself for the progress you make.
    You know yourself better than anyone and that includes your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on how to turn the weaknesses into strengths.
  2. Jealousy and competitiveness are emotions that cannot exist in a healthy relationship or friendship.
  3. Call your parents as much as you can.
  4. Be resourceful and try to learn as much as you can about your surroundings to become more resourceful. To make this more specific to investment banking, having a strong technical background is not enough to stand out. It is just as important to understand the internal infrastructure and resources of your firm. This will help you deliver the best quality product to your team and ultimately to the client.
  5. The best way to deal with sexist remarks is to give a firm response and a smile. Don't get worked up emotionally. Be cool, be assertive and smile. This is the best way to let them know you are not going to accept that sort of attitude from them.
  6. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. This is completely different from talking back.
  7. Learn how to interpret people's actions and words into what they "really" mean. Read between the lines. Understand their incentives and motivations. This will help you understand where they are coming from and what they may do next.
  8. Be humble and genuine. People can always spot fake and ingenuine people - it is just a matter of how long it takes, but at the end, fake people will always be identified.
  9. It is responsible to say "no" if you know you cannot commit to putting in a respectable amount of effort and ensuring a good outcome. This goes for everything, from work requests to even romantic relationships.
  10. Set aside time for yourself and reflect on your mistakes and where you went wrong. Try to learn from them and form a principle. Make it a rule that you can follow going forward.


I hope you found these helpful. What are some valuable lessons you learned in your career?

Thank you for reading,
Phyllis



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