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10 Career Commandments to Live By in Your 20s
10 Career Commandments to Live By in Your 20s
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10 Career Commandments to Live By in Your 20s

Money254
Sheila Brenda Andoi
September 8, 2022

Your twenties are a period to develop your life's plan. You have officially reached adulthood! Moving past the innocence of youth and being faced with the responsibilities of adulting. You are taking off towards your future, full of vigour and ready to grab opportunities. 

In today's society, there are several opportunities to make your mark, carve your path, or even fail terribly. There is no manual for young professionals who have yet to learn how to manage their careers and personal brands in the digital age.  

Furthermore, as competition for promotions and job opportunities becomes increasingly high, both locally and globally, building and maintaining your professional profile begins the moment you graduate and get out to the "real world”, if not even earlier. 

You're also at a stage in life where the uncertainty and challenges of a career can exhaust you emotionally. Therefore, how can you handle all of these ups and downs and set yourself up for a productive and fruitful career?

Read Also: Things I wish I knew About Money in My 20s

1. Develop Marketable Skills

The value of communication is something that many people overlook. It is critical to be able to successfully interact with others both verbally and in writing, regardless of industry. Other important professional skills are problem-solving and persistence, which include the ability to come up with a variety of solutions, innovate workarounds, and have the stamina to see a project through.

Spend your twenties honing the skills that will allow you to achieve your goals. Developing more marketable skills will assist your future self. These skills are required by all employers. 

Whatever career path you choose, having these talents is always useful and desirable. However, keep in mind that these qualities typically necessitate ongoing development and training.

Learning is lifelong. When you stop learning, you stop growing. People who take advantage of available learning opportunities are more well-rounded. Learning new things, whether it's a foreign language, exceptional communication skills, problem-solving, or an online course is motivating and gives fresh life enthusiasm.

Read Also: Soft Skills That Will Enhance Your Career

2. Reputation is Everything.

You should start creating a great reputation on your first day of work and continue to do so throughout your professional career. The easier it is for you to advance and stay on track toward your goals, the better your reputation will be.

While there is no quick fix for developing integrity, there are numerous methods to speed up the process as listed below; 

  • Be respectful and kind to everyone.
  • Keep your word
  • Be hardworking
  • Go beyond what is expected of you
  • Be helpful
  • Be upfront about your biases
  • Welcome feedback.
  • Always stay professional.

Remember that your behaviour today could easily cost you an opportunity tomorrow.

Read Also: Stability: How to Budget and Save A Lot Early In Your Career

3. Dreams Require Sacrifice  

Nothing comes easily in life, and if you are ambitious, you will have to make considerable sacrifices, including putting in the time and effort that others are unwilling to. 

Extra hours will be required on weekends, holidays, celebrations, and other special occasions to work on improving yourself and your skills. You may have to give up doing some of the things you want to do to prioritise your goal. 

You will have to make short-term and long-term sacrifices to achieve your career goals. While it may be tough, only those who are willing to go above and beyond will be able to realise their dreams. As Napoleon Hill put it:- 

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice.”

Read Also: Six Sacrifices You Need to Make to Escape Poverty

4. Get Clarity on Your Personal Brand

Your brand is how you promote yourself to the public. You want the world to see your one-of-a-kind blend of abilities, expertise, and personality. In essence, it is the manner in which you tell your tale and how it represents your behaviour, words, and feelings.

It acts as a visual representation of all the attributes that make you unique and employable for people to remember you. Because up to 75% of employers will Google you before a job interview and 95% will do so before hiring you, according to research, you should probably have a strong online presence.

First, set up a LinkedIn account, then decide what you need and who you are. Then, establish your credibility and effectively communicate your interests and qualifications.

Read Also: Personal Branding: Creating the Brand Called You

5. Don't Compare Yourself To Others

Turning to glance at their opponent is probably one of the biggest errors that an athlete or a swimmer can make, especially during a high-stakes competition. Swimming and running coaches urge their athletes not to look to the side to watch the competition because it slows them down; the same is true in real life. 

Someone else's success or failure does not determine your success or failure. The only person against whom you should compete is yourself. All that counts is that you put in your best effort each day and make progress one step at a time - zero pressure!

Read Also: Is Social Comparison Slowly Making You Poor? - Money Psychology 

6. Define Success for Yourself

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

Consider your response to the following question: "What does success mean to you?"

Following someone else's dream is the worst career nightmare. Not saying that you shouldn't have role models who inspire you. A person, blog, book, or webinar can provide insight, but identifying and pursuing your mission is totally up to you. 

Determine what you believe in, what is important to you, and where you want to go. Then go for it with fervour, determination, and flexibility.

Read Also: 7 Things You Must Do Help Speed up Your Financial Success in 2022

7. Never Lie or Exaggerate on Your Resume

When looking for a new job, you want to put your best foot forward. For example, you might prepare so that you appear polished and confident during interviews. Similarly, you highlight your accomplishments on your CV while attempting to minimise any potential drawbacks.

You may feel tempted to exaggerate to boost your resume. If this is the case, you are not alone, and the problem appears to be worsening. According to HireRight's 2017 survey, 85% of employers have uncovered candidates who have lied on their applications.

You may assume that a minor embellishment here and there will go unnoticed, but this is rarely the case.

Furthermore, you will create unnecessary expectations for your potential employer which will unravel within no time and you really harm your career. In no way should you do this.

Read Also: Money, Wastage & Me: Regrets, Lessons From 10 Years of Employment

8. Start Saving Money ASAP! 

One of the most effective money management strategies is to stick to a budget and save. 

You can begin saving for retirement, a home, a car, and so on, and prepare for any life crises that may come, including losing your job, experiencing a medical emergency, being involved in a car accident, etc. 

Read Also: Where Do I Keep my savings? The 7 Main Places to Put Your Savings

Spend less where it will not harm you and put as much money as possible into your retirement and savings accounts. 

Cook as much as you can; it's healthier and less expensive. Purchase only the clothing and home products you require. Cut back on wasteful spending. Save that entire pay rise and maintain the current lifestyle. Have a little enjoyment, give a little, but always pay yourself first, push the limits.

It all adds up.

Read Also: The Life-changing Magic of Compound Interest

9. You Can Always Change Careers.

Being in your twenties has its benefits because you still have a lot of life ahead of you and can alter your mind at any time. 

Read Also: How to Get More Out of the Money You Have in Your 20s

It is preferable to begin working early and switch occupations later, especially if you are unclear about your professional route, than to wait for your dream job while doing nothing. You may think that a particular career path is ideal for you, but in reality, it may not be. 

Experimenting in your twenties is critical for identifying your values and areas where your abilities and interests intersect. Now is the time to assess your strengths. To do this, you must be versatile and eager to try new things.

Read Also: How to Change Your Career When You Don’t Know What to do Next

10. It’s OK Not to Have All the Answers

It's acceptable to not have all the solutions right now. In reality, mistakes are unavoidable in any workplace. It can take you more than a month to adjust to a new workplace. 

Learning through experience can be excellent if you approach your career with a growth mindset. That is, rather than criticising yourself for making mistakes, regard each occurrence as an opportunity to learn.

Read Also: 8 Career Mistakes You Should Make In Your 20s

Sheila Brenda Andoi is a communicator, journalist, editor, and writer passionate about human-interest stories. You can find her on Twitter @sheilaandoi

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