Learn When to Say “No” While You’re Young

By Kia Robinson

As a young person trying to find their way into their industry, it’s easy to find yourself saying “yes” to every opportunity that is presented to you. From a young age we’re encouraged to take advantage of as much as we possibly can and as a result we learn to say “yes” to practically everything and it pays off. More opportunities will come your way, doors will open and your network will grow. However as you grow older, you’ll quickly learn that certain situations will require you to muster up the courage to say “no”.

A “no” does not equate to weakness or reflect your work ethic. In fact, most successful people will tell you that everything does not require nor deserve your time. Smart people are able to strategically decipher the individuals and projects that will utilize their talent and time best in an effort to produce great results while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

The art of saying “no” is not one that can be mastered overnight. There are people who are well into their careers who still struggle with the idea that sometimes it takes a “no” to ensure you’re bringing the best version of yourself to the table. The thing is those who never say “no” run the risk of being overworked and stressed simply because they committed to too many opportunities that should have been turned down.

Once again, walking away from some opportunities does not speak to your talent or your ability to produce great work. Turning down certain opportunities speaks to your ability to prioritize and strategically share your time and talent with the right projects. If you start young, you’ll save yourself time and stress over the years and it will certainly pay off in the long run.


Kia is a recent college graduate that's simply trying to grasp the concept of "adulting". She enjoys hugs, quotes, a good book, and all things motivational. Her favorite book is The Alchemist and she can watch Girlfriends all day long.