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Things I Wouldn’t Do If I Started My Career Again

Updated: Apr 8

When I posted on LinkedIn that I was writing an article about “Things I wouldn’t do”, I accidentally missed out following section – “my career” and the whole narrative in the comment section went sideways. It caused some misunderstanding & misinterpretation. People thought along the lines of “not drinking alcohol”, “being emotionally resilient to boss’s comments”, “listening and accepting constructive criticism” and so on. All those comments were helpful in a different way because they gave me insights and ideas about tackling some other issues in my future articles. However, for now, I would like to focus on my career in this particular article. A large number of people have been asking me about my mishaps & fuck-ups from the past.

So, here is my list of the things I would have done differently regarding my educational and professional careers.

  •  In the comment section, Imran Baghirov pointed out my biggest regret in life. His spot-on comment was “not taking education seriously”. Not in terms of my grades were not good enough, they sucked. Nonetheless, I am talking about a big chunk of knowledge that I missed out on in my younger years. I did not make the best use of Baku-Oxford School, Bellerbys College Brighton, CITY University London & CASS Business School. I did not only neglect the educational part of those places but also the experience part. What do I mean by experience? A bunch of things, frequent interactions with fellow students, academia staff & professors.  I did not make the best use of the community I was surrounded by too. My university was adjacent to the financial district of London & was next to a lot of headquarters of large companies.  It was like being in Disneyland and only hanging out in the parking lot.

The whole chain of events led me to a point in life. Approximately in my late 20s, I understood that it was only the second half of the game and I had not warmed up yet. Subsequently, I started re-educating myself.

Most of the list items below will be directly or indirectly related to the point mentioned above. I might just finish up the article here, but no. Got some more writing to do, so buckle up.

  •  Regardless of my educational experience, there is a trait of mine that I kind of respect. Sounds weird, I know. I always like to surround myself with people who I think are smarter than me. Back in the day I mostly applied this philosophy to the team that I was building, however, in the last 5 years I started to apply it to my personal life too. A tip of discovery for such people is to ask questions that are not the ones they are automated to answer. “So how is work going?” will get you nowhere, however, “What do you think you are most underestimated for?” is more like it!

  •  Another activity I would not undertake is to scatter myself. I desired to incorporate myself in multiple business fields at the same time. There is nothing wrong with multitasking. However, managing multiple businesses at the same time is a tough challenge. Occasionally, I would end up neglecting some issues due to the volume of work I was involved in. If I was to do it all over again, I would only focus on a couple of key opportunities. I would be more focused and become clearer in my decision-making, thought process, and problem-solving. For fucks sake, at one point I had a rent-a-car company, was the project manager for the largest bakery factory in the region, and was researching an opportunity in the luxury watches industry, all at the same time. Whilst, still having the whole ATL Group entities under my management. 

  •  I would never get involved in the restaurant industry. I always had an interest in the industry, however, after a cumbersome entanglement that drained my energy and patience, I would avoid that business field entirely. On a positive note, the experiences were quite fun and the concepts we created were iconic at the start.  

  •  I would have started personal branding and adding value to society earlier. Held on to this for quite too long. My fears were holding me back, which included “putting myself out there” and public speaking. It does not matter if you are a doctor, a scientist, an employee at a bank a startup, or an entrepreneur. Your name will get googled. If the outcome of the first page of Google results does not create a valuable impression & expectation about you, then you are at a disadvantage.

  •  Lastly, if I was to start my career all over again, I would have never neglected personal development. I only understood that I needed it late and started too late as well. I would like to cover personal development in a separate article; however, I will say the following. If your everyday existence does not get you closer to your objectives & your learning curve does not contribute to this path, then, what are you doing & why are you doing it?


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