The 10 Toughest Career Life Lessons I’ve Learned (So Far)

When I started my career, I thought that the hard part was over, and I wasn’t looking forward to any career lessons to learn from either.

But the truth is, I was just getting started.

I thought that if I got an education and worked hard, everything would take care of itself. Boy, was I wrong! The harsh reality is that every day presents new challenges, and if you want to succeed in your career, you have to learn how to deal with them.

But it wasn’t until I started writing this article that I realized just how much my work experience has taught me about life — and not just because I’m able to write about lessons from my job experience now!

lessons learned at work

Nothing can beat putting yourself in a situation that you dislike and still staying in there.

If you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to tell you how tough it is to keep up with work in today’s world. The job market is saturated, the hours are long, and the competition is fierce. But through all of that, there are some lessons learned at work that no one teaches you in school that can help you navigate this career path like a pro.

Here are some of the most important career lessons I’ve learned so far:

Use the power of Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP)

If there’s any career lesson you should look out for in your daily life, it is definitely this one. MTP simply defines your short and long-term goals. This simply answers the question, “Why do I get up every morning?” “What’s the goal behind my job and position?” “What do I want to change so much for the community, country, or even the world at large?” When you can think of a particular statement that fits in with this purpose, then nothing can stop you from achieving greater things. You can repeat your goals to yourself every morning and throughout the day as well. 

Keeping yourself motivated 

Another valuable lesson to learn in the workplace is how to stay motivated. This simply means reminding yourself of why you are doing your work. It involves taking your goals one step at a time. You need to understand that little drops of water can make a big ocean. This means that you should always encourage yourself to fulfil your goals one bit at a time and watch those bits take your career to the next level.

Don’t put yourself in the hater’s shoes: Leave the job you hate

Nothing can beat putting yourself in a situation that you dislike and still staying in there. What I’m trying to say is that many people find themselves in jobs that they find no joy or peace in and some still stay there. I’m a firm believer that “another better opportunity will definitely show up.” I can understand that many people have the fear of losing their jobs now and not having anything to do afterwards. But if you strongly believe in yourself, then there’s nothing you can’t do! So, take these career lessons and do the needful.

Be happy in the present

As humans, we tend to worry about a lot of things, and that’s not a problem because it’s in our nature to worry. The main issue is dwelling on that problem instead of appreciating what your career is and being happy in that moment. We prefer to complain and feel sad over something that isn’t even certain to happen yet. My advice would be to practice being thankful for even the little things that happen at work, be proud of how well you are doing, and keep a smile on your  face throughout the day. 

Don’t let failures restrict you

This particular career lesson from my job experience is really important. We tend to beat ourselves up whenever we make a mistake. You should realize that no one is beyond making mistakes and we will keep making mistakes all through our lifetime, no matter how small. What matters here is how you react to this failure. Do you dwell on your failures, or do you learn from them and move on? The latter is what you should always do when you fail at your duties. 

Keep your health and wellness in check

Your health is very important in order to stay active. Just as you try to do your best at work, you should use the same energy to take good care of yourself. Do not skip meals and endeavor to take some time off from work and rest. If you can fit exercise into your daily routine, that would help with stress. 

Never stop learning

This is another lesson learned at work. As long as the world keeps evolving, learning will never stop. We can never stop learning. We get to see new experiments, new projects, and so much more that we have no idea about. So, it’s good to be open to learning every day because that’s how growth works. 

Flexibility is the key to stress-free success

Being flexible means being prepared for whatever might happen at any given time. We can’t predict the future, and so changes are bound to happen. What matters is how you respond to these changes, so you don’t get stressed out over nothing. You should have an open mind that any change could occur at your workplace.

Create your own path

If you want success in your career, you should have your clear short and long-term goals in check. You should prepare a path for yourself and also take each step at a time. Also, remember that you could have a few breakdowns or failures at some point, but you have to pick yourself up and continue your journey. 

Maintain work-life balance while following your goals

Try not to get carried away by just working. Instead, try to have a balance between work and your daily life. Set aside time to spend with your family and friends, and for yourself as well. You deserve that!


These career lessons have helped me to do better in my workplace, and I hope they do the same for you too. These are some of the lessons I’ve learned at work, and I thought I’d share them!

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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