1. Experiment and fail early.
Focus on breadth of experience before depth of experience. Try new things and learn, find what motivates you and build purpose. Make an informed commitment towards a discipline, craft, idea or company that will continue to inspire you.
2. Stack skills and seek mastery.
Continue learning and rise to the challenge when the opportunity presents itself. Over time this accumulates into experience and specialised knowledge that solves valuable problems.
3. Take responsibility and go the extra mile.
Very few do. The impressions we make on our peers and our network are invaluable for future endeavours or career growth.
4. Visualize your destination.
The Baader–Meinhof phenomenon is real. If you take time to imagine a future self or career you’ll harness your own cognitive bias to create opportunities and randomness in your favour. Remember that the journey itself is more important and brings more happiness than the destination, embrace chance when it presents itself.
5. Be patient and play long-term games.
I used to make yearly plans and feel guilty when I couldn’t live up to them, I’d forgotten to enjoy the present and be grateful for the journey. Plans are helpful, but plans should change. Take one step forward every day and see it compound over ten years.
6. Separate your identity from work.
You are not your job or the opinions of the crowd. Set time aside to define your own philosophy, write down values and priorities, make your identity smaller to become unshakeable.
7. Soft skills are underrated.
Combine them with a few hard skills and you’ll be unstoppable. In the age of automation the complexity of soft skills that enable us to work with others will become more valuable. Listen, encourage, laugh, rationalise, negotiate, think.
8. As an employee find ways to work 80%.
Use the other 20% to build yourself - Learn new skills, build a side-hustle, experiment creatively or consult. That day per week is critical to continue growing as a person, to stay relevant in times of change, to create a network and build confidence in one’s own abilities.
9. Prioritise smart work, not hard work.
Staying long hours for the benefit of others is unnecessary, your time is too valuable. Learn to delegate or automate, create systems to unload unnecessary work and avoid the status games. Use the spare time to escape the daily fog and think strategically.