After 2 internships and 1 year working full-time, I think I’ve distilled what are the key factors to having a great career start. As I was asked in a job interview early on, “What do you look for in a company?”

(1) Mentorship

To be a fresh hire is to have the benefit of fumbling around and making mistakes. But the greater advantage is to be undertaken by someone senior whom you can bootstrap off, skip a few steps and quickly ground yourself with their domain expertise. And good mentors are rare—so bask in their aura when you find them.

(2) Interest

As much as work can be a calling or just a way to pay the bills, actually being interested in your job goes a long way to making a sustainable career. If the day-to-day work doesn’t matter, are you fully in control of your time?

(3) Flexibility

Work from home has been revolutionary and there’s no turning back. Being in control of your time is great for productivity, no matter what senior management says. But of course, there are some people who need their time to be managed by others, so know yourself.