Ten tips to kick start your career

Personal loans Written by John Bolton, Mar 27 2017

Take time to know yourself 

  • What’s your why?
  • Deep down what motivates you?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What is it about you that is uniquely you?
  • How would others describe you?

It’s important that you build a strong sense of self-worth over your lifetime. To get below skin-deep you must have some sort of purpose.

Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously

We don’t suffer from tall poppy syndrome in NZ – it’s tall wanker syndrome. We don’t like arrogant, selfish, self-absorbed people. Funnily enough, most wankers complain of tall poppy syndrome. Kiwis love people who are authentic. Also, a little bit of self-depreciating humour goes a long way.

Be brave and take risks

When you’re young, take risks. You have a lot less to lose and it’s far easier to pick yourself up and go again. There is nothing wrong with fast failure provided you learn. Your university degree is not that relevant. Bosses are much more interested in your experiences and your motivation. 

Take ownership

Most people watch the world, surprisingly few get engaged. Luck is a big part of success and it will only fall on those who are in the game. Get present and get involved. Put your hand up constantly. Why not?

Sacrifice today for tomorrow

Nothing comes without hard work. If you love what you do, it won’t feel like work. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, then find something else. The notion that you can have your cake and eat it is a modern fairytale.

Surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you

Find friends who make you want to be a better person. Learn to not give a shit about people and things outside of your control. We spend far too much of our lives worried about what other people think of us, and far too much of our time with people who hold us back. Value your time.

Spend time with people

Are we are living through a narcissism epidemic? There is so much self-promotion, self-obsession and digital over-sharing going on. What is real and what is a fragmented view of someone else’s reality? Pull your head out of other people’s lives. Spend time with real people doing real things and writing your own stories.


See the world. Experience different cultures, jump into the unknown. Get outside your comfort zone. Travel is an adventure. Be epic and brave! It is an opportunity to write lots of your own life stories. Some will be painful, but they often make the best stories 20-years later.

Get a mentor

Find someone older and wiser who can share their experiences with you. There is so much that can be learned from sharing experiences.

Stay curious

Stop reading tabloid journalism, watch less TV (cancer for the brain), read more, talk to interesting people, and set yourself a goal of learning something (anything) new every day. Tap into your innate intellectual curiosity.


About JB and Squirrel Money 

John Bolton is CEO of Squirrel. He is a former GM of ANZ and Westpac and hates wearing a suit (which is one of the reasons he got out of banking.)

So what do we do? Well, Uber is to taxis as Squirrel Money is to personal loans. A new and better way of borrowing and investing. We connect borrowers and personal investors to put more in people’s pockets.

We’re here if you need a low cost personal loan to help get your life or career next adventure on track or just to tidy up some old debts.

We can help. Have a chat to one of our advisers.