If you are reading this article, this is a compilations of life advices of those in their 30s sharing to those in their 20s. At any stage of your life, you will definitely feel uncertainty and lost in your challenges. We just want to share with you that it is okay to feel lost, it is okay to feel like you don’t know what to do in your life. So did we, when we first started.
Here are 23 quotes from people from different background. I asked them one question.
“If you can take the time machine to go back 10 years ago, what is the one advice you would give to the younger you?”
Vive Yeoo – Director of Platter With Love
If I could go back 10 years from now, I will tell myself to be more courageous to pursue what I love, seek professional help in career guidance, take reliable personality and strengths-based assessment to build my self-awareness.
Alaric Yeo – Manager in a Government Agency
If anybody tells you you need to bide your time or wait your turn, they’re lying. They never intend to give you a chance & 100% will let someone who hasn’t paid their dues jump the line ahead of you. Go somewhere where people aren’t trying to put you in your place.
Goh Ying Sheng – Film Maker
I would ask my 10 years ago self to go for more internships during school days! The internship experience that I had was so much more rewarding and an eye-opener than the classroom lessons.
Christopher Lin – Investor
10 years go? Invest early. Just buy Aapl, amzn, nflx. Hahah. I would not have put sooooo much savings in the bank.
Aaron Long – Customer Service Engineer
I’m still in the midst of getting my certification too. Plenty of study materials for CCNA online for free if you’re going for certification.
- YouTube – Jeremy’s IT lab, network chuck, reddit for CCNA etc.
- CCNA Dumps (For exam questions)
- Go to Wendall Odom’s blog for labs
- Search for subnetting practices online
Rafi – Network Engineer
If you are going into Networking Engineering Field:
- Take Network Certifications ( CCNA is a very good start ) <- A plus when applying as a new engineer in the field among graduates
- Get a virtual machine/programme ( VMware Workstation / GNS3 / Packet Tracer ) <- Hands-On for device configurations and simple network setups
- Look at IMDA Company-Led Training (CLT) Programme. They give a good head-start when you need to join the networking field
- Try get to know briefly the types/names of famous industry usage firewall/Networking device. Like when you say car brands, you know a number of brands.
-> Firewall -> Checkpoint / Palo Alto / Fortinet / Cisco ASA
-> Networking -> Cisco ( IOS and Nexus ) / Alcatel / Aruba
- Do not be shy to ask around. When you are still fresh, its easy to get more information as people recognize you are still new and more willing to impart knowledge.
- Just be prepared to work late nights/weekend and go on-sites to client. Networking field will need to go onsite to do upgrades/troubleshoot.
- Try to learn the terms usually used around work:
- Console in the device ( Means to plug in from your Laptop to the Device, USB side on your end, RJ45 on the device end. Search console cable in google)
- Putty/SecureCRT are two famous Console softwares
- SSH/Telnet in the device ( Means remote log-in to the device )
- AWS/Microsoft Azure ( Cloud Networking stuff ) – Off-Prem
- On-Prem ( Device located locally/Physically at the company)
- Egress/Ingress Traffic ( Outgoing and Incoming Traffic )
- HA ( High availability – Basically you got Primary Device and Secondary device to work as backup for Primary Device
Hope this helps. Priority is Network Certs as when you go into the field, its slightly harder to find time to take certifications.
Veron Lee – Financial Services Consultant
Bliondi Lim – Senior Field Application Engineer
10 years back? Empty out whatever money I have+ mined for coins on bitcoins @ $0.01/coin and sell at 2017. Assume I had $5k as a poly student, I could have bought 500,000 bitcoins. Imagine I sold them at US$15K (peak was US$20K), I would have been worth $7.5 Billion dollars.
Benjamin Liew – HR Business Partner
You are still alive 10 years later, so just keep being you 🌚
Ping Ufo – Security Consultant
Having a change in career field is not a bad thing and whatever you invest in studies and work before the change is not a waste of time. I got a diploma in Electronics, went to work for 2 years to test the market, then changed my mind and took a degree in Computer Engineering (one of the best decisions I’ve made in life, even though it meant going into university 2 years later). Having a longer journey to get to where you want to be is fine because you’ve made the necessary considerations before making big decisions.
Also probably not something everyone would agree with, but grades are not everything. In most cases, employers only look at your grades for your first job application upon graduation. It’s fine to pursue other things you want to learn while studying before you enter the work force because it may well be the last chance for you to easily have the time to do so. I don’t regret spending my uni years mainly dedicated into my achievements in Judo, but I do know if I had spent them solely studying I would have regretted it for life.
Salimah Ar – Founder at Whysosalty bownies
Learn what success modelling is and just copy it in my own style. also to know that there are many people out there who are against success/successful people, therefore to always be discerning and decide what is best for myself!
Liew Yee Bey – Engineer
Be creative! I wish somebody have told me I don’t need to follow the school structure to choose between Internship and FYP. Many years after graduation I realize some of the coursemates did FYP in France during summer time, and do an internship after that. Or you can do an Internship oversea during summer break. You can have the best of both world!
(By the way, student exchange was the best thing happened during my undergraduate ❤️ just go for it you won’t regret!)
Zhi Ming – Technical Lead
To my 10 years ago self, I will tell myself grades are not everything. You may have failed your ‘O’ levels. You may have went to ITE and got looked down by your relatives and people around you. You may have to take longer than your peers to graduate but stick to your interest in Information technology and do what you think is best for yourself and you will definitely change the perspective of everyone who looked down on you.
Walking down the path of information technology, you need to be prepare to constantly grow and learn. Find a good company to learn from and don’t treat the internship as just a module to pass only. Nothing beats learning hands on in real industry projects. End of the day, grades are not everything and what the employers are ultimately looking for are people who are willing to constantly upgrade themselves and adopt to the ever changing world of information technology. Be proactive in picking up new knowledge, keep up with the technological tend and you will definitely walk far in this industry.
Not to mention of cause join a CCA of your interest and make good friends and form lasting friendship in your school life. I have never regretted making a hard choice of joining my CCA in university because of my stupidly introvert self. Get out of your comfort zone, move ahead and you will not regret it.
Siqi – Security Specialist
Rather than giving advice to the my 10 yrs ago, I would want the old me to continue to experience mistakes, failures and regrets. There are tons of advices on how to avoid mistakes, but we must not forget to make mistakes because we dare to try something new, and possibly out of the norm.
If the idea failed, then reflect and learn why it went wrong. Every success story starts with learning from failures we experienced personally.
Michelle Er – Educator
It’s okay to be lost. Not everyone has a passion that translates into a career. Just keep living life, and every single experience you get will become part of a very unique you. You are right to not be blinded by money because your life is worth much more than that. In what other ways can your job serve you? Is it in fulfilling a need to help society? A need for satisfaction in overcoming challenges?
Rui Ping – Trader
Not so much of an advice to my younger self a general advice.
Be proactive. Don’t be afraid to take charge and throw out suggestions or recommendations. If you are afraid that you come out as bossy or arrogant, phrase them like a question. So instead of saying “I think that we should do …”, Can phrase them like “what do you think will be the outcome of we …”. People would tend to be more helpful and receptive if they feel that you are looking up to them and asking for advice instead of telling them what to do etc. Even if the suggestion or recommendations are not picked up, at least you will be worked through the thought process and reasoning behind it instead of being shot down right away.
Ding Neng – Marketing Manager
Listen to professors for exam tips. But listen to practitioners (like you) who got invest one for investment advice. 😁
Jia Hao – Manager at a Government Agency
Don’t be lazy, constantly expand your circle and world views. The internet is more than just searching for resources. It’s also a place for you to search for directions in many avenues!
Eunice Lek – Educator
It’s ok to be confused, not knowing which career path to take. Go for what you have an interest in. When you have interest in something, you will be more motivated to make it work. If it works out, good. If it doesn’t, it’s ok. Now at least you know what type of job you are not suited for.
Having said that, no job is perfect and there will be definitely be hardships along the way. Having the right attitude makes a difference. Even if the job is not ideal, learn what you can from it. You never know when these skills learnt will come in handy in future.
Yew Tuck – Regulatory Specialist
- Experience what hall life is
- Go oversea study trip or oversea internship or work and learn overseas! (Just get that overseas experience)
- Learn a skill (for eg, barista, tuina, coding…) and possibly harness it to be an entrepreneur
- Attend more entrepreneurship talks
- Do things rather than thinking or planning only! You have lesser to lose and people are more forgivable given the lack of experience you have.
Shichie – Forensic Scientist
- Don’t focus too much on academics. There’s more than just academics.
- Don’t forget to play hard too. It’s the last stop before you are out in the harsh working world.
- Get out of your comfort zone. That’s how you can grow. If not now then when? Especially when failure are sort of cushioned in school as compared to when you are in the working world.
- Don’t get tied down by all your “unnecessary” considerations and fear. Just do it! Be it to participate in an event, an activity or for some adventure.
- Learnt to network. Network while you can. Don’t stick to your own social bubble. It’s the easiest and probably the friendliest place to network now. You will be grateful for this network when you enter the society.
- There’s no one route to success. But your attitude matters more if you wanna succeed.
- You don’t need validation from everyone because not everyone sees the world as how you see it.
- If you have the opportunity, go for exchange program and live abroad. It will open your eyes and change your perception of the world. Some things can’t be taught, you must experienced it yourself.
- Learn to save and invest early, because it matters. Even a little bit of capital helps. Instead of spending them on an extra cup of bubble tea.
- Take up part time jobs or internships during vacations. That’s how you can get an idea about those jobs and whether you like it. This will help you to make better career path decision.
- Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your mental health while evolving in this fast pace world.
Sam Chua – Operations Executive
10 years ago is not a good time in my life. Plenty to whine and cry about, but even that routine grows stale. Here’s what works for me, hopefully I’m in time to do some good:
- 𝐀𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 “𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐦” 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. Our brains love to replay the sob story so we get to relive our past as a “tragic hero”. We cannot change our past, but we can make use of our pain as momentum. An arrow has to be pulled back before hitting its target.
- 𝐏𝐚𝐲 𝐂𝐋𝐎𝐒𝐄 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬. Like UV rays, you don’t detect them in your waking hours, but their compounded impact on you will be significant down the road. Some practice meditation, I do yoga and journaling instead. Take your pick to be more self-aware today.
- “𝐈 𝐇𝐀𝐕𝐄 𝐓𝐎 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥/ 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤.” Does this sound familiar every Monday? As this implies a lack of choice, this is another example of the victim’s mindset. By saying “I GET TO go to school/ work”, you shift the responsibility to yourself, and take pride in going to school/ work because of privilege, not circumstances.
- 𝐀𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐜𝐤. Not everyone is that helpful, but if you give before asking, you’ll eventually find the mentor you need. The Law of Attraction describes it as ‘Like attracts Like’, and I have found plenty of mentors this way. (Including my 1st Value-Investing Shifu, Oh ChengKok)
- 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲. Everyone has a particular set of skills in some areas. By asking, you’re opening opportunities to learn and collaborate with you. We learn and grow together, and sometimes make a new friend or 2. Don’t shy away from asking for fear of being rejected. I rather be a fool today, than be a fool for the rest of my days.
- 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐟𝐮𝐥? 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭! As also shared by Salimah, no point re-inventing the wheel, when we could always model what already works. It’ll save you tons of time and money, I just wished my stubborn a$$ would learn this sooner.
- 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐬𝐡!𝐭 𝐑𝐚𝐝𝐚𝐫! Gary V said if you’re miserable now because you had listened to your parents, friends and teachers, you probably deserved it. Listening to advice is important, but not all advice is valuable. Would you get medical advice from watching Youtube videos, or your family doctor?
𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐬𝐡!𝐭 𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐨. Just remember FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real, and slowly weed out these self-limiting beliefs within you. Not easy, but it’s your rite of passage to a more fulfilling future. Don’t what is false or real? Read, learn and expand your bullsh!t database voraciously. Yet in doing so, also learn to…
- 𝐀𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 “𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐲 𝐨𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬”. With tech skills like coding, digital marketing and video production in-demand, my peers are quickly switching to pick up such skills, even if it has nothing to do with their current roles. While I’m happy that they are upgrading themselves, not everyone’s gifts is naturally in-tune with the digital space. A fish and monkey has different talents, and to judge a fish’s worth with its ability to climb trees is simply unfair.
Run in your own lane, challenge your comfort zone gradually, and pivot according to your own strengths and interests. This will help you…
- 𝐀𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐬. Our mothers carry us for 9 mths on avg, but elephants carry their fetus between 18-22 mths. Does this mean humans’ bodies are more superior to elephants? If 9 mothers get pregnant at the same time, does that mean 1 baby can be born in 1 mth? Everyone has their own timelines to follow, so why not let Nature take its course, and…
- 𝐄𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞. We all die eventually, but have we truly lived? Whether it’s finding cure for cancer or growing old with your loved ones, everyone’s heart beats to a different rhythm. Learn to live, and you’ll learn what it means to be alive.
Bonus Advice Number 24 Ruth Yong – CFO
- Our attitude determines our altitude – how high and far we want to fly depends on our attitude towards life and the people around us. To those we come into contact with, be teachable, and always avail ourselves to learn and serve.
- I pray that we will all find favour with God and men – I have learnt that this means… knowing how to behave. Be real, be genuine, be sincere in our giving and serving…. I believe we will all go far, carrying the right behaviour and attitude.
- Finally, in our career search, never look for a job, look for a POSITION.
This may take time, but, always look out for our gifts, talents and abilities, and POSITION ourselves to stand in the gap and serve with all we have, with our best attitude forward.
I pray that we will all fulfill our life’s destiny. All the very best!
Final thoughts by Wealthdojo
Wishing you the very best! Thank you friends for making this post possible. I’m believe someone out there will appreciate your advice.
Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.
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The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.