This afternoon I stumbled upon this article on Forbes website: 20 Things 20-Year Olds Don't get. Considering I am going to be 30 in approximately 4 months, this list struck rather close to home and really made me re-think (again!) the past coupe of years...!
I honestly do not feel twenty-nine. I only moved out of my parents home last summer, and I am not at a point where I thought I would be at this age. At twenty-nine, I thought life would be different... I thought I would have this great job, be making lots of money and could afford all sorts of things, and maybe even be engaged or married. Life isn't horrible, I am happy, but I want more. I have been working my butt off the past few years, but apparently not hard enough.
Anyways, the entire article is definitely worth the read; I thought I would share the entire list of of twenty-things and include a few items that I easily related to when I read it. Some of these items I wish I had done, others I currently have been doing. Who knows, maybe thirty will be my lucky year!
1. Time is not a limitless commodity.
In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want. Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back. Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.
2. You're talented, but talent is overrated.
3. We're more productive in the morning.
4. Social media is not a career.
5. Pick up the phone.
6. Be the first in and last to leave.
7. Don't wait to be told what to do.
You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility. You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure. Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.
8. Take responsibility for your mistakes.
You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career. But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution. Stop trying to justify your F-ups. You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.
9. You should be getting your butt kicked.
10. A new job a year isn't a good thing.
11. People matter more than perks.
12. Map effort to your professional gain.
You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do. Keep your eye on the prize. Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow. That should be all the incentive you need. If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity.
13. Speak up, not out.
14. You have to build your technical chops.
Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore. I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position. If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.
15. Both the size and quality of your network matter.
It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business. Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it. Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible.
16. You need at least 3 professional mentors.
17. Pick an idol and act "as if."
18. Read more books, fewer tweets/texts.
19. Spend 25% less than you make.
20. Your reputation is priceless, don't damage it.
Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business. It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity. Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure. It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.