Firstly, ask yourself if you’re learning and growing in the right direction. What are you getting better at – and is that the right thing? I spent a lot of years in my early career without a real planning boss, getting better and better at compromising and being a diplomat. I think it slowed my development (and career) down for a couple of years.
Say no more often. Don’t try to please people by taking on too much – you’ll end up doing it badly (or at least only ok). Obviously it’s hard to say no to senior people but they’ll understand if you explain that you don’t want to compromise the quality of what you’re already working on. Obviously, what goes with this is making sure everything you do is interesting. It’s easy to do stuff right and responsibly. But always push to make everything you work on interesting and different in some way. (The trick is to do this in a way which ends up being even more right and even more responsible – rather than just gimmicky.)
And harness your energy and time. There’ll come a period in your life where you have kids and a long-term partner and you’ll want to focus on them. So spend your twenties furiously writing a blog and going to all the industry events you can!
Planning Partner at adam&eveDDB