Career Wisdom to Pass On Early
- Give honest feedback – promptly.
- Speak up – directly confront problem behavior promptly.
- Stay true to yourself.
- When you own your mistakes, it leads to respect and opportunity to make things better.
- Listen to others, even if you don't agree with them.
- Collaboration is key to success (especially reiterated by Boomers). Consult collaborators before making decisions.
- Networking and relationship building are about asking good questions.
- Help others first to get where you want to go (faster).
- Your reputation is your most valuable asset (Gen X).
- Think before responding provocatively or hitting "send" (Boomers).
- Changing yourself is easier than achieving organizational change (Boomer-Gen X cusper).
- Great communication involves body language and tone of voice, not just message (Boomer). Take a stand but avoid alienating others.
- Trustworthy and respectful are more important than perfect (Gen X).
- Healthy eating is crucial for life and work success (Traditionalist).
- Wonderful things are only achieved by working with others (Gen X; counter to typical perceptions of Gen X).
- Realize that a college education is most helpful if you're aware of what you're not learning and getting (Gen Y/Millennial).
- Figuring out and acting on your professional interests isn't selfish. It's the most responsible thing you can do for yourself long term (Gen Y, which I expect many Boomers and Gen Xers would agree with).
- Your career is likely to go off plan. Be flexible (Gen X-Y cusper).
To add a family flavor, here are some of the shared thoughts from a panel of Gen Xers and Yers on the subject of "What I Wish My Parents Had Told Me Sooner":
- Respect everyone.
- Tune in to all the resources we have as humans: mind and heart.
- Stand up and speak out on what matters to you.
- Listen to financial planning advice.
- Look around you, observe, and listen.
- Life isn't linear. You will shift paths. Enjoy the ride.
- Try different things, even if you fail.
- Bad things that happen often turn out for the best.
- Honor and pamper yourself.
What do you wish you knew sooner? I'm sure you have additional lessons learned we'd like to hear. Comment here, send them to me at email@example.com  to post, or comment on the Cross-Generational Conversation group on LinkedIn .