Written by Carissa Abazia

I sit here embracing the small amount of wisdom that has come with my age, and hope it makes the remaining years of my current decade – and decades thereafter – a tad smoother.

Growing up my father would tell me: “Sweetie, the older you get, the wiser I become.”  So cliché, however, so true – the only thing I have a much deeper understanding of is how much I do not know every year that passes. If there is one thing you learn, as you get older, it’s that no one knows what they are doing, everyone is winging it and that life is really about how you handle the unknown, and being resilient in spite of failing (and falling) again, and again and again.

Below are the teachings I have taken away from that decade which, had I known at the time, would have saved me time, money and often a great deal of pain.

Don’t worry about what other people think. This is the most important lesson I learned as I have aged. Learn to accept and love yourself, and don’t compare yourself to others. Oh, how irony likes to play little tricks on us!

Do not rack up debt.  Building credit is important; however, it’s easy to buy, and buy, and buy some more when you haven’t yet had to deal with debt and a bad credit score.

Take more road trips with your friends. No explanation needed.

Save money now. Re-read #2.  Don’t spend, SAVE! Your thirty-something self will thank you.

Do not practice negative self-talk. Repeat after me: “I am wonderful. I am a great person. I am compassionate with myself and others.”

Learn to say no with confidence. It’s best to learn this skill now, while it’s still relatively early in your career. That way, you can prioritize the people and experiences that are truly meaningful to you. And if you are a people-pleaser like me, cut that s*** out.

Take risks. Travel if the opportunity arises. Relocate for better job opportunities. Don’t be afraid to change directions.

Learn to negotiate with politeness and tact. Learning to negotiate early in your career is crucial. Tact and politeness during negotiations will help you get the salary and job you want.

Happy Learning & Growing!

Thanks for reading!

Carissa Abazia