1. Learn how to leave jobs on good terms.
Yes, even if the idea of any sort of confrontation makes you feel weird. You never know if you might have to work with them in the future.
2. Have ambition.
This should go without saying! But I can tell you from going back to my hometown for holidays that it doesn't. (Ambition is relative: If your ambition is to have a family or to be working at Starbucks and helping your parents out, you do you!)
3. Be realistic about your future, but not in a depressing way.
Look, job opportunities for professional gamers are quite slim. You can still totally play your games, but support your art with a day job!
4. Make sure your highest-up boss at least knows your name.
You don't have to be BFFs, just make sure you have enough face time with her to ensure she is aware of your existence.
5. Realize what your weaknesses are, and work on them.
And not those fakey "I work too hard!" or "I'm a perfectionist" or "I poop Lucky Charms!" answers you give in interviews—real weaknesses. For instance, I am unorganized. In an attempt to remedy this, I now make to-do lists (and, um, basically remain unorganized, but it's a process)!
6. Have insurance.
I used to be all like, "Ugh, I don't waaaant to spend P20,000 a month on insurance!" Then two years later, I went to the dentist, and she was all like, "You have 500 cavities and it will cost all your money, brah," and I was like, "Noooooooooo!"
7. Realize if your job is a soul-sucking awful cave of hollowed-out nothingness, you should be actively taking steps to find a better place and leave.
It is much easier to bitch about your job endlessly than it is to hunt tirelessly for a new one. Avoid that trap.
8. Have a set of skills/expertise you've already mastered, so that you'll be more qualified to apply for a job in that field than someone who kind of dabbled in everything.
If they're hiring a computer programmer, they don't want someone who has done a little computer programming, a little blogging, a little festival organizing, and little teaching. They want someone who's done a lot of computer programming.
9. Take a vacation every six months or so, no matter how little.
It just helps. Otherwise, you'll slowly go insane and not even notice until your coworker tells you you're eating your Post-Its.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors.