This week it’s the gems of advice heat magazine ‘s Senior Editor Chris Longridge would like to go back and tell his 22 year old self…

Hello, me aged 22. Don’t do your hair like that, you idiot. I know it’s the ’90s, but get it cut professionally. You’ve been out of university for a year now, but you’re finally earning enough to rent half of a one-bedroom flat with a mate. Don’t freak out, but you’ll be sleeping on the living-room floor for the next eight years. It might get in the way of your social agenda, but you won’t regret it when you’ve saved enough for a deposit on a real flat.

So, work…

Let’s talk jobs. At the moment you’re working part-time in the accommodation office of your old university, because they were the only people who’d take you. Soon you’re going to get a real, full-time job! Yay! Technically it’s in a call centre – beggars can’t be choosers. But don’t panic, they like you there and next year they’ll give you a better, more creative job in the marketing department. It’s not the career you hoped for, but then you’re still not totally sure what you want to do, are you? Only the lucky are born with vocations.

You’ve got plenty of time

These experiences will help you make your mind up, and that’s fine. Knowing what you don’t want to do ever again (talking to a customer, for example, or polishing your shoes) is vital to fuelling your mission to get to a place where you are doing what you want. It might not seem like it, but you’ve got plenty of time. The first five years of everyone’s CV are expected to show evidence of a journey. So what if some of your friends hit the career jackpot at 21? When you finally become a journalist at 27 after going back into education (and taking a 50% pay cut), you’ll be ready for it.

It’ll be ok

On that note, let’s take a moment to discuss your mental wellbeing. I know you’d rather avoid the subject, but that’s the problem. You take yourself far too seriously and you don’t accept help enough. Open up to people. You’re doing everything reasonable to achieve your ambition but it’s still going nowhere – and in the years to come that sense of failure will burn you up if you don’t lighten up. It’ll be okay. You know what you need to do in order to get where you want to go, so keep doing it and don’t worry about it when you hit obstacles. Every path has obstacles. It’ll be okay.

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