Lessons Learnt From the First Two Years of Work

Ab Brightman
3 min readJul 2, 2018


The following is taken from an email I sent round to my colleagues upon moving on from my jobs at Student Hubs to set up my own business. I decided to quickly reflect upon the last two years of working — and living, to share with the rest of the team.

Being as genuinely friendly to as many people who cross your path as possible will never be a mistake.

Life is an adventure playground full of twists, and navigating it through friendliness will open up way more fun. You never know whether that stranger who just walked into your office, or cafe or whatever, could be the best friend of your whole life. So say yes to drinks, invite new people and old friends to things, tell people when you’ve enjoyed spending time with them.

Some of my own highlights were getting an invite to stay with my colleague Rachel’s sister in America, moving in with a great friend, Freya, who I made through working in our office building (TSK), moving in with another great friend, Miriam, who I also met there this coming month - and making a new really good friend, Tessa, and visiting her back home in Denmark, from a partnership company my manager, Sara, was working with for a few months.

Fill your life with people who push you forward in life, not just people who are fun.

People who encourage you to try new things or deep dive into your passions, who inspire you through their own choices and who will challenge you when your actions fall short of how you’ve told them you want to live. It doesn’t matter how much positivity or energy you start out with if you’re then mostly around people who are a bad or even neutral influence on you.

Seek to be the best role model you can for other people in your life.

This is the other side of the above — you are always a role model to your family, friends and colleagues so I like to question my own behaviour, anything I do, through the frame of would I want them to see it and be encouraged to replicate it?

Just because you now get paid to make social change working for a charity, don’t forget to make time for yourself to volunteer still.

This isn’t about it being an ‘obligation’ just that it was clearly a passion of yours before you started work, it makes a different kind of impact than the day job, and if volunteering got you to where you are now then it’s probably not a bad shout to keep it going.

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If these resonated with you or you disagree— share with a friend and let me know in the comments, or at abbrightman.business@gmail.com.