Potentially the most important time of your career is at the beginning of it.
This is because relatively more time, and less responsibility, allows you the luxury of risk taking.
Risk taking is obviously more difficult when you have a house, and spouse, and kids, and car payments, etc – but few strategically think about all of this at the appropriate time.
I know I didn’t.
Take advantage of what you have at that fleeting age.
Start a business on a shoe string. Sleep in your parent’s basement. Don’t spend a penny unless you have to. Do something you will not be capable of doing when you are 30.
Work for minimum wage for the wealthiest/most influential person who will take you.
Or move to Paris to cook:
When you do get out of culinary school, try to work for as long as you can possibly afford in the very best kitchens that will have you—as far from home as you can travel. This is the most important and potentially invaluable period of your career.
-Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw