How To Make The Most Of Your 20's To Advance Your Career In Your 30's

I’m 28, going on 29 years old. I’ve made a lot of very smart decisions in my 20's as it pertains to my career. I know that sounds arrogant. Believe me, I’m not that kind of guy. Related: 8 Ways To Beat Millennial Stereotypes And Win Over Employers My track record proves that I’ve made good decisions because somehow I went from being a college dropout to becoming a marketing manager in a Fortune 10 business at the age of 27. Those type of results typically don’t take place until people are well into their mid-40’s. I know this to be the case, because that’s how old my colleagues were. As I get closer and closer towards 30, I’ve begun reflecting on my 20’s as well as my generation of Millennials, many of whom are still struggling to find meaning from life. Every day I receive emails and messages on Facebook and Twitter from people in their 20’s, as well as high school students. They pour their heart out to me, telling me their stories. The advice I give them for making the most of your 20’s in order to advance your career in your 30’s is as follows:


1. Take lots of risks

In life, the people who win are those who are willing to take risks. As an example, the mass majority of people save versus invest because they’re paranoid about risk. However, without risk, we wouldn’t have an economy. The economy is built upon risk, it’s called businesses, and without them we’d have no jobs and no economy. In your 20’s, don’t be afraid to take risks. If you don’t like your job, quit as soon as possible until you find a job you absolutely love. If you chose the wrong career, quit as soon as possible and start a new one.

2. Keep your bills low

Bills are a burden, and while it can be tempting to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, rent an apartment you can’t truly afford, furnish it with a credit card, and lease a BMW, all of these things will destroy you by the time you reach the end of your 20’s. This is important as it pertains to your career, because there will come a time in your late 20’s when you begin to truly discover who you are and what you want to do with your life. What you decide to do may earn less money. If you’ve spent your 20’s racking up a load of debt, you’ll enslave yourself to your previous job commitment just to keep your bills paid.

3. Keep your credit clean

Your 20’s are a time to establish a solid and positive credit history. Ruin your credit in your 20’s and you could be 40 before you ever get things repaired, and by that point you’re already 10+ years past the point at which you should’ve purchased a home. It’s also important to note that many employers nowadays do credit checks in addition to background checks, and it’s possible that you could be denied a job as a result of your credit score.

4. Be nimble

You never know where your job or your career will take you. You may have to move across the country for an opportunity, so be ready and willing to get up and go.

5. Be open-minded

Be open-minded about everything. Your 20’s is a time in which most people begin to develop their belief systems. This includes but is not limited to religion, politics, and career choices. Do not get old and set in your ways in your 20’s. The world changes too rapidly, and just as soon as you’ve decided that you ‘know how things work,’ just that quickly things will change.

6. Continue your education

High school or college graduation isn’t the end of your education. It’s just the beginning. In your 20’s, your goal should be to learn as many new skills as possible so in case you decide to change careers, you're flexible and skilled enough to do so.

7. Be yourself

Don’t ever let someone else tell you what to be or who to be. This includes parents, political parties, bosses, boyfriends, and girlfriends. Be yourself. In the end, that’s all that matters. The world already has enough clones.

8. Be patient

Young people are inpatient. They want the big promotion now. They want the fancy car and the two-story house today. Keep calm and carry on.

9. Have fun

Don’t take life too seriously. I did and I regret it. If you’re not having fun in your 20’s, you’ll regret it later on in life. Ask anyone who’s 40 and they’ll tell you.

Related Posts

How Millennials Can Help Bridge The Workplace Generation Gap Why Millennials Aren’t Really Lazy 77 Million Millennials Can’t Get Happy – Or Can They?

About the author

Michael Price is the author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank. He is also the founder of Conquer Career Course, where he teaches students how to increase their salary, build a career with longevity and become unemployment-proof. View the trailer below:    
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!