Starting out on your career can seem like one of the most daunting tasks you’ll ever undertake in your 20s and beyond. As with every momentous task or adventure, there are always plenty of questions bouncing off the insides of your head. That aside, there are also times early on in your career when you begin to second guess yourself, and in the blink of an eye, your confidence is all but zapped and you’ve turned into a toddler in a strip joint. To top it all off, there are seemingly a million talking heads only too eager to pass on advice. Heck, but who do you listen to? Indeed, who? Thankfully, however, we’re here to help, for we’ve dispensed with the smoke and mirrors, and made plain the seven habits you should master in your 20s for a great career.
These habits will stand you in good stead for the future, and be the sure foundation on which you build a glorious and fulfilling career. Now, let’s get this show on the road, beginning with:
Jump in with both feet
There’s no better time to take some risks than in your 20s. Sure, they may not always work out, but you’ll learn plenty, can bounce back from them relatively easily and there’s less at stake – all this is crucial. Besides, it will teach you to spot a worthy risk and opportunity for later on in your career.
Stash it away
Financial hygiene is an important habit to inculcate early on. Try to stash away about 15-20% of your paycheck for a rainy day, and don’t dip into it unless you’re in dire straits. Now, you are prepared to take any financial pitfalls in your stride.
Far and wide
Networking is a crucial aspect of the professional world we live in, and something you should take to early on, soon enough, it will become second nature. This habit will help you get to know other roles, types of jobs and so forth. Significantly also, it will open your world to new experiences and possibilities and can help provide direction, as regards what you want to do career-wise.
There are many people who could shape and direct your career, and early on, you can never know which ones will make the most difference. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense to maintain and strengthen relationships from previous roles, teams and firms. A few phone calls, texts on birthdays and so forth could cement relationships, which in turn, could open up a whole host of opportunities.
The social media thing
Always future proof your social media. For instance, is that post going to reflect who you really are in five years time? Things on the internet stay there forever, and recruiters are always looking up candidates online, so maintain a sanitised front, and lock down those privacy settings. Also, make sure you have a regularly updated LinkedIn account.
The feedback factor
Don’t ever take negative feedback personally, and always take the time and effort and get to the heart of the matter. Next, work on improving what was highlighted in the feedback. Your bosses will notice this and earmark you for bigger and better tasks and projects. Also, don’t hold back on passing on positive feedback – if someone’s done a good job, big ‘em up for it.
The best version of yourself
Always try to get better at what you do. This may involve putting on a pair of imaginary blinkers to block out what the others are up to, as it may not align with your own goals. This way, you have a fixed vision and purpose to work towards, and can drive on with determination and vigour.