Updated: Mar 13
I remembered graduating from university and starting my new job as an engineer, thinking my life was set.
I accomplished everything my parents and society had taught me – > which was … get good grades, go to university, graduate with a safe degree and get a job.
Once achieved, I thought I could sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and live life happily ever after.
If only I knew!
17 years later and reflecting deep on my life, I’ve experienced at least ten different jobs in life, some at the same time because of my immense curiosity and desire to explore.
According to the report Thinkopolis IV: Time to Work, by Workapolis, where they searched through more than 7,000,000 resumes, 51% of people have changed jobs every couple of years since 2000.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person will experience 8 to 10 jobs by the time they are 38.
Turns out the old way of thinking, where you could study something, get a job in the same field and be set for life….is unfortunately outdated and will be extinct.
It can feel scary that the path from student to working professional isn’t clear and obvious.
Millions of us, young and old, students and professionals are feeling this exact way.
But on the other hand, living an inspiring life filled with experience, curiosity, creativity, and adventure opens up so many possibilities.
Your Journey to an Inspiring Life
This is why I reached out to 14 inspiring group of women to reveal their life-changing advice.
I personally asked one simple but powerful question:
"If you could travel back in time to your twenty-year-old self, what advice would you give yourself?" I got profound life-changing advice from 14 inspiring women who’ve collectively thrived in several dozens of careers.
Their advice is as diverse as they are.
Their powerful advice can ignite the change and courage that is needed in this world.
Put these words of wisdom to work and watch yourself shift and transform.
Profound Advice and Wisdom about Life, as Revealed from 14 Inspiring Women
As someone who currently in her early 20s, giving advice is hard as I haven’t had the opportunity to reflect on this time of my life. However, I do think I have something to add to the conversation. One thing I would say is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you. Trust me, I know it’s scary to take on new things! It’s foreign and sometimes your body will even fight it. But once you get past that, I promise it gets better. By throwing yourself into something you are not comfortable with, you are only adding to your life-experience. Also, you can make some awesome connections! (This is so important as a young person!) Throughout my undergrad, I made a conscious effort to put myself out there as much as I possibly could and now as I finish my undergrad, I can confidently say I got so much out of the experience, whether this be public speaking skills, work experience, event planning or networking.
At the same time, it is extremely important to keep in mind your own limitations. Taking on too much can have serious effects on your physical and mental health. You also need to keep in mind that your limit may be different than others, so try not to compare your limit to those of your peers.
Being in your 20’s is an exciting time! You have your entire life ahead of you. I can’t wait to see what our generation is able to achieve.
Julie Broad, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Successful Real Estate Investor, Popular Speaker, President of Book Launchers
Please! Stop and take a look inside. Listen to the whisper of your intuition. Start loving and accepting yourself today; start nourishing and caring for your mind and your body; do what lights you up, not what you think you ‘should’ be doing; and recognize the greatest truth of all: your internal circumstances are what truly dictate the quality of your life. Start living in an ‘inside-out’ world and watch the amazing possibilities and your potential unfold.
Also, as you move forward, take the time to really learn how money works. Study it, ask questions until you gain clarity, and become comfortable speaking about it. You need to understand that money is a powerful tool that can serve you well if you grow your skills. To have money is to have options for yourself and your family. In time, you will learn just how valuable that is. And when you are tempted to delegate responsibility to your husband, don’t. It’s imperative that women grow their financial confidence and knowledge. Confidence comes through doing, not observing. Know that you are smart enough to do it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
At the same time, start a savings plan immediately. Having a financial cushion saved up will give you incredible freedom of choice and control of your time once your priorities start changing (and they will definitely change even if it’s hard to imagine now). Decisions about houses, startups, grad school, children, cities, countries, career – these may all hit at various times. Give your future self the gift of time and freedom.
In university, I recommend taking advantage of student experience trips they have available at undergraduate levels. You will discover so much about yourself and the world around you. You will appreciate where you are, what you want to do to help others and experiences like this will help you discover your future.
At the end of the day, it is easier said than done. We are put on a path and if you don’t follow it you are considered a failure. Truth be told, I wish I fell off that track multiple times to learn more. I completed by undergrad degree as a full time student in four years, while I was a varsity athlete, worked part time and was involved and President of many clubs on campus. In turn, if I could rewind my student experience and young professional life, I would have done a fifth year to really take in that experience. With all that to say, try new things and flourish in this competitive world because you have so much in you to offer, more than you know but will soon find out if you put yourself out there!
Daria Hill – Executive Communications Professional, Successful Real Estate Investor, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Dreamer
I would also tell my 20 year old self to be confident and believe wholeheartedly that you deserve success and that you truly can do anything that you put your mind and hustle into. Set good habits – mental, emotional and physical – early. Save more, incur as little debt as possible, and be frugal choosing quality over quantity.
My 20 year old self was deep in a performing arts degree (piano), plagued with nerves, lack of confidence and no clear sense of who I was or who I wanted to be. It took me 30+ more years of significant and ongoing focus on self-development and personal growth to start to feel comfortable in my own skin. I would love to go back in time and tell 20 year old Teri that she was loved, cherished, incredibly talented and that she would, in years to come, change people’s lives by helping them tell their own stories. Loving herself is the most important thing to learn. All the rest will follow.
Amy Fong – Intellectual Property Lawyer, Patent & Trademark Agent, Engineering Physics Engineer, Nominee for the 2018 YWCA Women of Distinction Award
Just because that item is on sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Be minimalist, be selective and build a capsule wardrobe (Google that if you don’t know what it means…wait, did Google even exist back then?). Invest your money in things that can appreciate in value (hint: listen to mom, you’ll thank me later.)
Raylene Lang-Dion, Future candidate for Ottawa Municipal Council in Alta Vista, Ward 18, Youth Service Bureau Foundation Board Member, Former National Chair of Equal Voice: Electing More Women in Canada and Former Chair of the Community Addiction Peer-Support Association
As I had a milestone birthday this year, providing advice to my 20 year old self takes on a
whole new meaning. It’s about that balance between looking back on life and at the same time, not having regrets. That is important. So, I have two pieces of advice: Don’t be afraid and get comfortable with the idea that not everyone has to like you.
Facing that feeling of fear is part of coming to terms with who you are, and letting go again and again and again of what makes you insecure. Everyone has insecurities and if they tell you otherwise, well, don’t believe them! Know in your heart that you are essentially a good person with much to contribute in life. To not be afraid is to say to yourself often that you know ‘who has your back’; to embrace the fact that no person is perfect; and most importantly, to develop techniques to work through your fear.
The idea that not everyone has to like you brings back all sorts of memories from high school when the popular cliques were everywhere and you didn’t fit-in. Yikes! To give yourself permission to say that not everyone is going to like you is incredibly freeing and the earlier you do it, the better. Instead of agonizing over the fact, I really wish someone has told me to focus on learning how to negotiate during difficult conversations and be comfortable with working through tense situations. It took me a while as I used to be crushed on a regular basis, but it can be done.
So onwards! As the saying goes, you only have one life…
People often say to ‘be you’ but sometimes it’s hard to understand what they mean. The sooner that you realise that virtually everyone is walking around with a ‘mask’ on pretending to be ok and feel ok, you’ll realise, it’s actually normal to NOT to feel ok all the time, yourself. And that is very freeing indeed.
The more time you spend nurturing yourself. Slowing down and really taking time just for you, not to please anyone else. The more that you are really PRESENT, living in the moment. The more joy you will experience.
When you follow your joy – that is when you are ‘being you’.
Let go of worrying about your weaknesses, focus on strengthening your strengths.
You are perfectly ok in your imperfection. Let go of worrying what others think (they think WAY less about you than you realise – because remember they’re so busy focusing on themselves.)
Be kind. Be grateful. Show love.
To everyone you can.
Donna Baker, World-Ranked (10) Women’s Master Wake-Surfer; CPA; Canadian Ski Patrol & VP Fin Exec Gatineau Zone; Mother & Wife; Special Advisor and Diversity & Inclusion Blog Champion @ Export Development Canada
We all do this unconsciously. This exercise makes us pay attention to our self-talk and the micro decisions that we make if we let the negative thoughts shape our decisions.
G.R.I.T. is a more telling characteristic correlated to long term success than any natural talent.
Guts: to dream Big and not be afraid to fail
Resiliency: To bounce back from negative thoughts and experiences (failure is research!)
Initiative: This is your life each micro decision (20min of study and practice vs Instagram) is a step towards mastery
Tenacity: never.give. up. I think I may have earned this trait best from my terrier. Nobody was wanted that ball more. Pure focus.
Tracy here. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to all the amazing ladies who contributed to this article.
Readers, what were your favorite takeaways?
Imagine walking away from this meetup filled with inspiration, actionable content Tracy likes to call ‘impactful learning’ to move forward in your investment journey.
Imagine feeling supported and part of a community that RISES TOGETHER…starting with accountability partners.
This group is to help you live a ‘Richer’ and Fuller Life Aligned to You.
If you are a caring and passionate women who wants to take financial control of your life
If you are a determined woman who has side hustles or an entrepreneur, entrepreneurial spirit and an action taker
And you feel ‘stuck’ and want more in life. You want to build a legacy for your family. You want to build your own nest egg.
Then I invite you to join the Financial Nirvana Meetup
**Proceeds from the Financial Nirvana Meetup will go towards a social cause to benefit the next generation of young women**