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Want to succeed at your first job? Be stubborn

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Being stubborn may help you succeed at your first job. Photograph by Johnny Greig—Getty Images

40 under 40 Insider Network is one of several online communities where the most thoughtful and influential people in business under 40 answer timely career and leadership questions. This week, we ask: What are 3 must-have skills to land your first job? The following is an answer by Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO and founder of the Mara Group.

I didn’t have a conventional first job as one would imagine, but I’ve learned much more from the unconventional one than I ever would have at a traditional job. The following three skills have been invaluable throughout my entrepreneurial journey and I think they are essential for any young businessperson starting out:

Be persistent.
I started my first business in IT with a $5,000 loan when I was 15. Building any business is difficult and takes a great amount of patience and a healthy appetite for risk, but at 15 years old, these elements were amplified. At such a young age, it was difficult for people to take me seriously but my stubbornness pushed me through and I would never take ‘no’ for an answer.

Keep an open mind.
In the early days of my career, I also learnt the importance of listening to guidance from experienced individuals that you trust. When starting a business, you experience a steep learning curve and it’s important to surround yourself with people who will provide you with valuable input to help take your vision forward. This lesson has made such an impact on my entrepreneurial career and is what eventually led me to create the Mara Foundation and Mara Mentor.

Learn from your mistakes.
Failure is the best teacher, and entrepreneurship is all about how you respond to your failures. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re going to get yourself into trouble because as an entrepreneur, you simply can’t afford to make the same mistake twice.

Read all answers to the 40 under 40 Insider question: What are 3 must-have skills to land your first job?

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