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7 Career Lessons That Double as Amazing Life Advice

Here at The Muse, we talk a lot about careers. (I know, that’s stating the obvious.)

The thing is, if you really think about it, a lot of the advice we give can be applied to any situation. After all, work and life aren’t all that separate from one another. Many of the lessons you learn from your job can shape your personal life, and vice versa.

That’s why we’ve rounded up seven career articles that double as good life advice—because yes, you should love what you do for eight hours of your day, but you should also love the life you live in the rest of those hours.

1. There’s No Such Thing as the “Right” Decision

You make tons of decisions each and every day. And feeling like you have a tiny devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, both weighing in on every major choice and insignificant call—like whether you should order an iced coffee or iced tea—is exhausting.

Stop overanalyzing all the small decisions you make in a day and instead lean on how you feel and what you know to be true. You can’t go wrong that way.

Read More: Good News for People Who Overanalyze Everything: “Right” Decisions Don’t Exist

2. Clear Communication Is the Key to a Successful Relationship

That goes for colleagues and bosses as well as friends, romantic partners, and family members. Miscommunication happens all the time both in the workplace and beyond it. But you can fix that once you start speaking confidently and directly.

Read More: 5 Habits of Truly Amazing Communicators

3. Nobody Knows What They’re Doing 100% of the Time

No matter how much you stay organized and think ahead, you’ll never be fully prepared for what life throws your way—whether it’s a tricky client or company restructuring, or an apartment flood or parenting issue. Life’s unpredictable and imperfect. There’s no need to have it all figured out—nobody does.

Read More: How to Get Over “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing” Syndrome

4. You Don’t Need to Take Everyone’s Advice to Heart

Sure, you should be open to feedback. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to agree with all of it—or even that you have to implement it. Everyone’s going to have different advice for how you should manage your team, run a meeting, or where you should take your career. Or, they might weigh in with their opinions about your cleaning habits, hobbies, or relationships. The key is to take that input into consideration and make the call that’s best for you.

Read More: Here’s Exactly What to Do When Someone Gives You Feedback You Disagree With

5. Writing Can Help You Out of a Slump

If you feel like you’re caught in a career rut—or any rut for that matter—freewriting can help you out of it. It works because there are no expectations for what you write, what you think, or how you feel. It’s about processing your internal monologue on paper so you can get a better handle on where you’re feeling stuck.

Read More: How to Freewrite Your Way Out of a Career Slump (Even if You’re Not a Writer)

6. You’re Allowed to Leave Behind Things That Don’t Fulfill You

Sometimes certain things look and feel rosier in your imagination than in reality. As you experience new things in your life, you might be surprised to find that your interests lie elsewhere. It’s OK to change course, and it’s OK if you leave behind something that you once valued or loved.

Read More: It’s OK if What You Thought Would Make You Happy Didn’t

7. Nothing You Do Is a Waste

Lost friendships and relationships aren’t a waste of time. Neither was your last job or your failed side project. In fact, it was probably the stepping stone you needed to get to where you are now. Consider how far you’ve come, instead. You’ve gained so much because of those things you’ve “lost”—remember to focus on that.
Your career and life are more intertwined than you think. So, don’t forget to consider all that tried and true career advice when making decisions outside the office, too.

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