To my connections who have children entering the workforce or starting their post secondary education journey.  Or for connections just starting to navigate their own career. Trust that the next path will emerge in time – it will.  Advice from someone who has been able to embrace the fluidity of career and is excited by change and opportunity:

1. Make education a priority. If you are not sure, start with something generic that can transfer. You can always specialize down the road. This will help you land a job – guaranteed.  Once you are employed take every opportunity to pursue employer sponsored education.  As much as you want to take a break, keep going.  One day your life will be so full of outside commitment and you will be thankful that you focused on education when you had the time.

2. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find the right path from the beginning. There are many forks in the career road ( especially in the insurance industry ) and every new path teaches you more about yourself, which gets you closer to your personal destination.

3. In school or work, try to enjoy the people you are with and make as many personal connections as you can. Ask people questions about themselves and they will want to learn more about you. These relationships will be key throughout life and your career.  I now have people who hired me for junior roles 15 years ago, who come to me to brainstorm ideas for their career!  The relationships we build throughout our career come full circle.  Remember that first and foremost we are all human and intuitively, value these connections.

4. Ask for what you are capable of and for what you deserve.  Asking for the next level shows you are engaged and that you value your time.  Asking for more has never resulted in a negative reaction for me.  Sometimes I needed to be patient, yes.  But it was never, ever, to my detriment to have the discussion and ask for the next “thing”. . .wage increase, promotion, vacation time, project.  Ask for your future.  You have a responsibility to create it.

5. Should you follow your passion or the money? I vote for the money. You will find your calling eventually, when the time is right.  Most things come in time.  The more financially secure you are, the easier it will be to allow a change of direction if and when something more passion focused calls to you down the road.  For now, there is a reason they call work, WORK.  And that is why we have the weekend!

Focus on Education, Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, Value personal connections, Create your future and SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!