With the prolonged adolescence and delayed adulthood of many millennials, experts are beginning to wonder how these young people can ever be employed in successful careers. In many fields, long-term success is dependent on getting started early and working hard throughout your 20s.
Being successful even when you don’t have your whole life figured out yet can help you achieve goals and get you started. Included here are a few steps to take in your 20s that could further your professional career.
Define Long-Term Plans
If you ask nearly anyone, they will probably agree that they would like to settle down with a family at some point. The problem is, the idea of meeting someone or having children seems so far in the future, that they fail to take steps to secure it in the here and now. The first step in figuring out your biggest life choices is in deciding what you want your life to look like overall. Be honest with yourself about how you see your life progressing in order to gain clarity.
For example, if you want to meet someone and have a kid before 30, spending every night at home with the same gal pals is not going to put you on that path. Additionally, individuals who want to start their own business or travel are not going to get there by working the same job and failing to expand their network. The steps you take now can affect your future 10 or more years down the road.
A big problem with young people is that they feel stifled by having to choose a lifelong career at the youthful age of 22. This inability to make a steady decision on their future can put them in a kind of permanent limbo. The first step towards developing your career is in getting started. Even if you don’t yet have a solid idea, getting a job and working your way up will never be wasted time.
Don’t Procrastinate on Life
While you may believe procrastination helped you get that paper done quickly in college or avoid doing the laundry, it doesn’t actually help you in the grand scheme of things. Imagining that things are just going to “happen” for you at some point is basically allowing yourself to procrastinate on starting life for yourself.
Starting a new career, meeting new people or even learning a new language are all launching points for your life getting started. One popular Woody Allen saying is that “80% of life is in simply showing up.” Just by getting yourself out of your house, out of your head, and out of your rut, you can begin to move forward.
Find Your Role Model
While our independent, self-sustaining society hates to admit they need help or advice from anyone, role models can be one of the greatest stepping stools for any person. Identify a woman, perhaps who lives locally, who is over 35 and has attained a level of professionalism you desire.
Take time to get to know this role model. Understand what sacrifices they had to make professionally and personally to get where they are. Ask them what their regrets or disappointments are. These questions, and this relationship, can help you decide if you are on the right path or if you seek something else in life.