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  • Writer's pictureBryan Jun

things I wish I knew about jobs before I became an adult

We all have those moments where we think "if I knew the things I knew now and was 18 again, I'd be so much happier." These thoughts typically grow as one gets older (the fact that I'm only 23 and already have this twice a day is probably concerning). Here's an unordered list of things I know now that would've propelled me to success if I knew back then, not inclusive of investment ideas like TSLA and DOGE (both of which haven't had the best of days recently). Note that this list includes non-job related things that ultimately lead to job-related things. I try my best to not sound like a generic Buzzfeed article but let me know if I sound like one so I can delete it right away.

  1. AP tests matter - I've been out of high school for a bit so perhaps College Board's doing something different lately, but getting college credits through those 4's and 5's on AP tests can save you thousands (if not 10's of thousands) of dollars in the future. More importantly, this will allow you to either (1) graduate early and free up your precious youth to do things earlier or (2) take classes you actually want to take instead of taking Biology 101 and going through sex-ed for the 3rd time (except this time, every hour you're sitting in class is costing you $300).

  2. Doctors, lawyers, bankers and engineers oh my! - There's a reason why your mom keeps telling you to become these four things. They are proven roads to stable income - sure you may not become a billionaire and you're going to have a terrible time for the first five years (or maybe even a decade) but if you consider risk-aversion vs. payout, especially in the scope of "effort actually somewhat dictates success," it's these four roles. Sure, we may be amidst a career revolution and it hurts to see your 15 year old neighbor make more than your career banker dad from Minecraft videos, but for every one of those kids there's 1,000+ of your dads. At this point it's kind of sad that I'm seeing the world from this realistic of a lens at my age, but this is the reality folks.

  3. What school you go to matters - and it's about the name brand. Experience at the school matters and of course there are the "lower ranked schools with good programs," but the world is a lot simpler than you think and having a certain name on your resume and LinkedIn does raise important eyebrows. It's also a lifelong confidence boost that piles up after a while. Can't add more here without sounding like a pretentious asshole so I'll leave it at that. Go Gennies!

  4. No one cares - I'm talking about your job and you as a whole. A recurring theme on this blog is that we think we're much more important than we are - but a positive spin on this is that we probably care a lot more about our job and role than others do. It's important to take your tasks seriously, but it's also important to not over-stress about small mistakes and other work-related stress points because everyone else's care for what you're doing compiled together is probably still less than how much you care. Relax.

  5. Make full use of every perk - I'm not just talking about the 5% off of Disneyland tickets you get through a company discount, but juicing out every single PTO day possible, 401k stuff, you get the point. No one will remember a month later whether or not you took that Friday off to go golfing with your dad, but you'll remember not doing so by the time your dad's too old to play golf with you.

  6. What you major in is important - I think this is the biggest lie I've heard throughout high school and college. If your genuinely passionate about dance theory or art history, go for it by all means, but if education is just a way for you to get a job, get a STEM degree (math or computer science if you have the slightest aptitude for either one). If you don't trust me, go on LinkedIn and look at most if not all available jobs in any relevant city, they'll all have requirements that list these majors. Of course "once I have enough work experience my GPA, school and field of study won't matter" and "companies like diverse array of thought" still somewhat applies, but why not increase your chances? This is NOT to say that if you majored in something else your career path is over - I've said repeatedly on my Youtube channel that you can spin anything for Investment Banking (granted you have a good GPA, solid experience, great story, etc.) But contrary to belief IB isn't the only job available in this world and more and more jobs like seeing that STEM label on your resume.

  7. Don't expect work friends to be real friends - I've definitely met real friends through work, but it's extremely hard to get over the hump of the medium you met through. It's like marrying the girl you met off Tinder - beginnings matter. It's hard to not think about what this person's going to actually think about the way you think about work, even if they say they feel the same way. Unless you leave the job or they do, no matter how many Tender Greens salads you've had together during your lunch breaks, keep your work-related opinions to yourself.

I might turn this into a series depending on how old I feel as my career progresses - main goal for this one was to not sound like Buzzfeed as much as possible. Hope everyone's had a great day at work or school - if it's the latter, make sure you get on that coding grind.

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