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Remembering your 20s helps your career

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We all have moments where the future of our careers feels unclear. Fortunately, the answers can often be found in your own past, says Doug Campbell, executive coach and author of The 16-28 Solution. In particular, he recommends addressing current career challenges by looking at what occurred in your life between the ages of 16 and 28.

During that time period, Campbell explains, people are typically defining their interests and skills. He recommends that you focus on several types of experiences in particular.

•  Being a leader. Were there any moments in which you experienced being a leader for the first time?

Did you volunteer to organize an event or run for a leadership position? This can tell you about your future as a leader in your professional career.  Did you enjoy those experiences? Gauge whether you should take on more responsibility at work based on your thoughts regarding your leadership skills early in life. Should you give up a leadership position?

•  Having a mentor. A mentor can connect you to opportunities you otherwise would not have experienced. Were you mentored early in life? Did you enjoy the experience? If you had a mentor, her teachings are probably still with you later in life. Think about what your mentor would tell you to do at this point in your career.

•  Experiencing project management. What types of big projects did you complete early in life? It should be something that took a lot of time and hard work, but made you feel successful in the end. How did this project change your outlook on your own abilities? Look at the skill and abilities you gained from completing it. Are those skills you value and enjoy having? What opportunities can you gain by using those skills now?

— Adapted from “Boomers: For Your Next Career Move, Look To Your 20s,” Nancy Collamer, Forbes.

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