3 ways to waste your youth and build your value

Youth  is  wasted on the young, but no experience is ever irrelevant to the clever millennial. Take that George Bernard Shaw

I see so many 20-somethings (like myself) languishing with a lack of career direction- feeling they “should be” on a more certain path doing one thing or another.

Knowing three words can help you map your next move, regardless of your age or stage in your career:

  1. Skills
  2. Interests
  3. Qualifications (or Achievements)

Your Skills are what you are known to do well, backed by experience.
Your Interests  are what you choose to enjoy, they can be more niche like hobbies.
Your Qualifications (or Achievements) are a representation of what you want to do.

Like a Venn Diagram, any combination of these three things can overlap to help add value, and give you direction.

For me personally, I am in a seemingly unique, but not uncommon, position; I have no formal qualifications relevant to my current role. My interests in the social media and Government  come together with my pre-existing skill set from numerous internships and retail jobs. Because I am mentally stimulated by my interests, I am engaged to learn new skills.
Is this the secret to LOVING your job like I do? Who knows!

Not all formal qualifications have the same practical (read: practicum) element – E.g. Nursing vs Engineering vs Public Relations. There is no ‘lesser’ profession in any industry, based on how much “relevant experience” you have.

In my opinion, “relevant experience” is just a pair of words strung together which induces fear into the heart of Graduates – all experience is relevant, don’t believe the oxymoron!

Any qualification combined with a pre-existing skill set are the bricks and mortar of of the road anyone can journey on to discover specific or new interests.

Conversely, your skills and interests can compel some people to study again, to acquire new qualifications.

All of these combinations add value, nothing is irrelevant to the bigger picture. The end result is an excellent situational knowledge. Realising that every ‘irrelevant’ experience – study, previous work and your interests – you have had has been quietly adding to your value is a game changer.


Waste your youth – it’s all (chaotic) good!

Also published on LinkedIn Pulse.