Believe in yourself, work hard and be a pleasure to work with!
I personally have had to take a few detours in my plans regarding my career, but with each revelation and each experience, what I originally envisioned for my future has changed - for better. It took a lot of self-belief and determination to stay motivated and to be confident enough to seek out the help and support of those I look up to. I've been privileged to work amongst really inspirational and ambitious individuals who have directly and indirectly inspired and mentored me, by proactively seeking such opportunities. I have also discovered that I personally don't belong in one box - I am a multifaceted individual, therefore whenever I apply myself to something that may not be obviously aligned with whatever I'm working on in that season, I dedicate myself without neglecting whatever else that's a priority in my life. If that's you, work hard and learn to prioritise. Believe that if you apply yourself, work hard and work smart, you can achieve it. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received came from Michael Brodie, the Finance and Commercial Director of Public Health England, in which he told me to keep a strong network of individuals who can support and add value to me, while I also do the same for them. Be a pleasant person to work with, and be kind and treat everyone with respect regardless of their background, status, role, or anything else that makes them different to you. Ask questions whenever you're uncertain, as that's how you learn and develop. Take charge of your own personal development, and seek out opportunities to bring extra value to your role. Take advantage of the training and courses offered by the Civil Service to develop who you are as an individual and as an employee. Work hard, but also work smart because the world really is your oyster as long as you apply yourself. Lastly, ensure you're passionate about whatever you're doing and remember why you pursued it in the first place. That is essentially what will keep you motivated when it gets tough.