A few days ago I was talking to a friend who was starting her first job.
While talking about the experience of beginning a new role, I realized there was one tip that was fundamental and much more impactful than all others.
It's simple, in the way everyone can get it - but the execution is trickier.
Create a financial safety net.
The amount of comfort it gives you is amazing. Save up for an emergency (the usual amount is 1.000 EUR or USD) and three, six, or nine months of fixed expenses.
This is major. It gives ease of mind and tranquility. You know that if something happens and you lose your job, you'll be in safe hands.
When you're a junior, you're frail. You don't have valuable skills. You don't have a network. Make mistakes while your boss is having a bad day, and you're out.
Whether you like it or not, this stress is NOTICEABLE. You fear losing your job. But you have an (often absurd) rent to pay, and expenses, and a newly conquered independent lifestyle you want to keep.
This gives you comfort. Not only that, it gives you comfort to fail. You can risk and try bold things because if you get fired, you got a backup plan. And in the early days, that ability to risk it is ESPECIALLY valuable.
You can only advance in your career if you get yourself noticed. And how do you get noticed? By taking risks.
With a cushy safety net the way you think changes. Before you spend your money lavishly, handle that first.