5 Things I Wish I Knew In My Teens by @SandraDawes

Find-out-what-you-likeby Sandra Dawes | Featured Contributor

I’m working on putting together a job fair in the fall and one of my goals is to help high school students explore their career options beyond the traditional professions. Since this idea has been kicking around in my head, I’ve been thinking about what I wished I’d known a few years ago (ahem), when I was in high school 🙂

  1. Entrepreneurship is an option
    Maybe times have changed, but I don’t remember much conversation about entrepreneurship as an option when I was in high school. It’s possible that I was just talking to the wrong people. Career day never had someone who owned their own business. I know that the Richard Branson’s and Bill Gates’ of the world aren’t the norm, but wouldn’t it be great to light the fire of entrepreneurship at an early age?
  2. A degree doesn’t guarantee a job, never mind a high paying one
    While I was in high school, I had a standing summer job at my mom’s warehouse. I started there making $8 an hour, working 40 hours a week. Not bad for a 15 year old! By the time I left there I was making about $16 an hour. Imagine my horror and dismay when my first job after graduation paid me $10 an hour! Sure, I wasn’t lifting heavy boxes and wearing steel toed boots, but it was still a letdown. Even my parents couldn’t believe that my education didn’t command higher pay.
  3. You don’t have to figure it all out now
    I don’t know about you, but what I wanted to be when I grew up isn’t what I want to be now! Before becoming an entrepreneur, I averaged three years at any job. How can you possibly know what you want to do when there’s no way you’re aware of all the options, especially at the age of 17 or 18? I used to roll my eyes at people who needed to take a year off to “find themselves”, but now I totally get it!
  1. Follow your passion and the money will come
    I used to think that there was no way that you could do something you love and get paid well for it. My father was a truck mechanic and loved his job. I believed that he was the exception to the rule. When you so many people working jobs that brings them no joy, you begin to believe that’s just the way things are. When you love what you do, you’ll spend the hours needed to master your craft, whatever it is. It’s not easy to commit to something that you’re not passionate about.
  2. The concept of “work smarter not harder”
    There was a time when I was working a full time job and a part time job. I remember being on a flight to Las Vegas for work and chatting with the couple I was sitting next to. I was talking about my lack of time for fun when the wife told me that I had to learn how to work smarter, not harder. It was the first time I had heard that, and I thought she was crazy. I totally get it now and no longer believe I have to exchange my time for money, as an employee or a business owner. There are only so many hours in a day and I don’t know about you, but working 24/7 doesn’t sound appealing to me!

What advice would you give students graduating from high school? What words of wisdom would you share with your younger self if you could? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥


Sandra Dawes, Founder, Life Coach, Embrace Your DestinySandra Dawes is a recovering control freak and excuse maker, as well as founder of Embrace Your Destiny, her life coaching practice. Her work involves teaching women how to stop making arguing for their limitations so that they can create the life that they want. Sandra’s inspiration to help others in this area comes from her own journey and experiences in dealing with the heartbreak of losing her father. She published her first book Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve, a story that outlines her personal journey, in November 2013.

In her down time, Sandra loves to read, do yoga and spend time with her partner Satnam and their dog Lulu. For more information on what she does, visit www.embraceyourdestiny.ca.

Share :


2 Replies to “5 Things I Wish I Knew In My Teens by @SandraDawes”

  1. Abby Green (@AbbyOTR)

    This is great, and I totally agree with many of your points. As for the degree not guaranteeing a good job, that was a shock to me too, but not to my father — a college professor! He told me, “That’s what graduate school’s for.” Well, I did go to grad school and even THAT was no guarantee of a high-paying job. I’m now a freelance writer, and while I don’t feel like I have totally found the winning formula yet, I like being in charge of my own destiny — and time. I would have liked to know in H.S. that that was an option.

    1. Avatar photo
      Sandra Dawes[ Post Author ]

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Abby! I did graduate school too and had the same experience you did. Still working on the winning formula as well, but I’m enjoying the journey towards it! 🙂

Comments are closed.