Your twenties is a period of huge growth, learning and personal development. Here are a few tips to be aware of, but hey you are so smart I am sure you are doing this already!
13 Tips for Your Twenties That Can Boost Your Career
Success does not mean burn out
Set the tone for how you integrate your work and life from the start. Drop the mentality of ‘work hard in your twenties’ and then ‘cool down’ when wanting to build a family or drive personal goals later. Rather live a full life now, do it now, do not wait for a magical moment, this is the magical moment. It will be incredibly hard to make that shift later in life. Yes work hard, work incredibly hard, but live. Click To Tweet
Drives outcomes and results, not processes
No matter what field of work you are in, your work will be assessed on an outcome that was achieved and not a process that was followed (and results may or may not be there). Build a reputation around outcomes.
Don’t be fixated on the idea of a particular job title
Be flexible; jobs change, heck, industries change. Focus on adding value, being relevant and being impactful. Have your next career step mapped out (this is good) but not ten steps ahead.
Be a problem solver
If you have the energy to complain about something, have the energy to do something about it. Channel your energies into positive thinking.
Maintain a positive online presence
A study by Jobvite (a recruiting platform) reflects that 93% of prospective employers will review potential employees’ social media activity. In addition, more than half have reconsidered a candidate’s application based on what was found. Place your facebook and Instagram on private if you are a ‘party’ animal. Have an updated LinkedIn Profile, here are 6 ways to step up your LinkedIn game. LinkedIn is key because it is an extension of brand.
Update your CV every 6 – 12 months
A CV is not all about job hunting; it should also capture your key accomplishments as you go along. In order not to forget your key accomplishments update it on an ongoing basis. Here are 6 steps to update your CV in 20 minutes.
Build a network of meaningful relationships
When building a network, consider how you add value to people in your network, before you think about how to get something out. Networking is not about having people on tap to get favours from. Always lead with what value you can add to a person. ‘Networking is about connecting people, not collecting people’, says Linda Cattalyn.
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
The first offer of anything, almost always has room for improvement. When reviewing an offer, always negotiate. I wrote a post about how to go about asking for things at work such as a flexible arrangement, study assistance, etc. If you are adding value to your company, you should be able to negotiate in these instances.
Plural is key. Have mentors, each of whom will give you guidance in different aspects of your life and career. I also recommend that if you are a mother, have at least one mentor who is a working mother, just to get this angle covered. Also, don’t get fixated on a mentor, because they also change as you change and evolve.
Have mentors, but sponsors are even better. When a particular assignment comes up, this person will advocate for you in your absence and will ensure your accomplishments are known. Herewith further insights on why a sponsor is critical, Why Mentoring Is Overrated And How To Make It Really Count.
Always dress for the job you want
Always dress up one level higher. Appearance is part of your brand, and you want your brand to say ‘I mean business’. In whichever field you are, always dress for the job you want.
For goodness sake, be wise financially
Make smart financial choices in your twenties, so that you build financial stability. Why this is important? So that you do not need to make decisions purely driven by money later on as your lifestyle changes. Be wise, don’t go for that over priced apartment or car. You may buy over priced shoes though. I feel in your twenties you need to do buy at least one pair of overpriced shoes.
Progress is better than perfection
Give up on perfection. I am not saying that you must be okay with mediocre performance, still, pursue excellence. Sometimes by seeking perfection, making sure that everything is ‘just right’ is hindering progress. In some cases 90% is good enough, you need to discern when. Move forward on something and adjust as you go along, it is okay. How many times have you spent hours on a client presentation and only a third was required? How many hours during planning have you dedicated to modelling and estimates too early in a process? Only to find it change. How many hours spent on tweaking and re-tweaking which made no difference to the actual impact of a deliverable? Progress is better than perfection.
Be open to learning, growing and its okay to make mistakes. Any choice you make in your twenties is not written in stone!
Featured Image: Pixabay