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Say Yes! Then, No.

Early in your career, say yes to everything. It doesn't even mater whether you work in an office or at a fast food restaurant. Just say yes to absolutely everything.

There are a lot of gurus in this world dishing out career advice. And although you can find a guru for almost any idea under the sun, the one thing they pretty much all agree on is this: time is your most valuable asset, and you need to manage it wisely.

So I realize that what I’m about to say may sound backwards, but I’m going to say it anyway:

Early in your career, say yes to everything.

It doesn’t even matter whether you work in an office or at a fast food restaurant. Just say yes to absolutely everything.

Do this thing that’s actually someone else’s job? Yes.
Pick up this extra shift? Yes.
Secretary at your sports team? Yes.
Volunteering at your local non-profit? Yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

Really, rack up as much responsibility as you can possibly handle.

Not only will you learn a ton about what it takes to run things, but you will also build valuable experience in the process. And more importantly, you will quickly build a reputation as someone who can be relied upon to get a job done.

And that is an invaluable asset to have, especially early on, when you don’t have much experience or a job history to lean on.

The truth is that early in your career, you are a time millionaire.

Especially when you’re young, you just don’t have much in terms of responsibilities. You picking up some extra work might cut into your time playing HALO on the X-box, hanging out with friends, or binging your favorite show on Netflix. You know, the same stuff you can do every other night. No big deal.

This is not so true later in your career.

Because the more experienced you get, the more valuable your time becomes. At that point, you have so much knowledge and experience that every minute you waste actually becomes a big deal, because it’s a minute that could have been spent doing what you have become uniquely good at. 

At that point, the rule flips. 

Later in your career, you should say no to everything.

This is valuable information, even if you’re still early in your career. Because it means that anybody who is higher up than you in any organization has to say ‘no’ to things all the time, and is therefore always looking to offload tasks.

This is a great opportunity for you to pick up some more responsibility!
Make sure you say yes to it.

Better yet, offer to take things off their hands before they even ask.

This is how you grow.

This post originally appeared in the DJH newsletter.
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