What if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice? What would you say? Maybe it would be to take that internship at the mayor's office instead of spending the summer lying by the pool, or to not be afraid to run for chapter president because it will be the best year of your life. LinkedIn recently interviewed more than 80 of the most successful people in their network and asked them what they wish they had known at 22. This is what a few of them had to say:
Craig Newmark, Craigslist founder: "People will quickly decide to perceive you one way or the other, and it'll be hard to change that perception, which is what the marketing folks rightly call a 'brand.' You're responsible for your own branding from the beginning, and if you can get it done well, right at the start, and then protect it, that's good."
Rachel Zoe, fashion designer: "No one told me this, but I instinctively figured it out on my own: never pay mind to the clock. When you are first starting out at a job (and even when you are settled into a company), stay as late as you can and also always be the first person to work in the morning."
Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE: "Great breakthroughs don't come happen when you're half-hearted. They require people who are emotionally and intellectually invested in what they're doing. Find your passion and hang on to it. Never forget what motivated you to get to where you are today."
Arianna Huffington, president of Huffington Post: "Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself."
Julie Boorstin, CNBC correspondent: "You have no idea what the future will hold - and how businesses will change. Just as you can't anticipate what technological innovation will implode one industry, you don't know what will pop up next. Social media? It literally didn't exist when I was 22."
Sallie Krawcheck, owner of the women's professional network, 85 Broads: "You're going to be rejected a lot. You'll need thick skin to get through it. Oh, and work hard. That really matters. Please get that mole on your shoulder checked. And that guy you're dating? Bad idea. Seriously."
Jordy Leiser, CEO at StellaService: "If I were 22, I would find and develop strong relationships with mentors. I would take their advice as guidance (not gospel), and I would try to speed-climb the learning curve of my occupation or industry through their wisdom. I would also invest in these relationships over the long run, as they can be just as rewarding personally as they can be professionally."
Suze Orman, TV host and financial advisor: "When you are starting out in your 20s, it is natural to think about all that you will have and do once you start making money, and making more money. That gives money way too much power over your life. It's not about how much you make, but the life that you make with the money you have.