Your 20s are, to put it bluntly, kind of a clusterfuck. You're so busy discovering who you are, forging ahead with independence, and trying to worm your way into an ever-tighter job market that sometimes practical advice falls by the wayside. You just don't have time for it ⏰ even when you need it – bummer, right? Finding success – in anything – while you're still in your 20s seems like a pipe dream. I mean, this is a stage of life when many people are living paycheck to paycheck 💵 and trying to come up with inventive Ramen 🍜 meals. Your success isn't a pipe dream, though. You're fully capable of achieving it. You have everything you need – once you read this amazing career advice from some super-successful folks, that is.
1. Humility Goes a Long Way
One of the biggest complaints about 20-something millennials today is that they lack humility and that they feel like they're entitled 👸 to, well, everything. I'm not really into painting anyone with such a broad brush, but it is kind of a trait. Even if you're eager to prove yourself and hungry to get ahead, try to be humble. You don't have to be falsely modest or self-deprecating, nor do you have to dumb down your intelligence or skills (don't do that, not ever), but a little humility goes an awfully long way.
2. You've Got to Make Your Own Path
What works for everyone else may not work for you. Similarly, you may not want to follow the traditional path in your chosen field. No matter what you do, forge your own path. Take whatever route works for you.
3. Never, Ever Look Back
When you spend all your time looking back 👀, you never see the future. Your past regrets have already happened. You can't take them back, but you can learn from them and then move forward. Keep your eyes facing the future and keep your feet firmly planted in the present.
4. Embrace Failure
You learn so much more from your failures than you learn from your successes. Failure isn't the worst thing that will ever happen to you. Besides, when you fear failure, you stop taking risks – and then you're just boring. 😴💤 No one wants to hire or work with bland, boring, unimaginative people.
5. Don't Blame Others when You Fail
Not only do you need to embrace failure, you also need to own it. Don't blame others for your failures, your problems, or your difficulties. Those are your issues. No one else is responsible for what you do.
6. Set Your Mind to do Anything You Want
Limit yourself and everyone else will limit you. Put yourself into a box and it's harder to claw your way out of it. You can do anything if you're willing to work for it. Don't dilute or downplay your dreams because you think you can't achieve something or because you're worried it's too hard.
7. Accept Feedback
Getting offended or lashing out defensively when you receive feedback, advice, or constructive criticism will not help you. That's not a good look for anyone, and it's an ignorant mindset. You can't learn if you don't get feedback. You can't improve if everyone tells you that you're wonderful and perfect all the time. You're not perfect. You have room for improvement. View constructive criticism and advice as gifts. 🎁
8. Ignore the Chattering Crowds
Everyone will always have an opinion on what you're doing. That's life. People tell me I suck on a daily basis. The most judgmental people 🗣 usually have no real accomplishments of their own. Accomplished, successful people love to see others succeed, they don't seek to tear down other people. The peanut gallery means nothing.
9. Stay Positive Even in the Face of Negativity
It's so hard to stay positive 😀 when nothing's going right. Worrying about getting a job, keeping a job, finding a job, being broke, not knowing how you'll pay your bills – those are huge concerns. Retaining your optimism 🌈 and a positive outlook seems like impossible tasks. You might have to work for that optimism, but don't stop.
10. You're Never as Good as Your Best Review, and Never as Bad as Your Worst
Reviews catch you on a day. One single day. Sometimes you kill it and sometimes it kills you. Don't be discouraged if you don't give a top review performance every day, and don't take a bad review as proof that you suck. Just strive for your best and learn from your worst.
11. Read Business Books and Invest in Yourself
Sometimes, you have to read books just to learn something. That's the case here. You don't have to spend a fortune or fill a library but invest in a few business books 📚 that appeal to you because, in turn, you'll be investing in your future.
12. Say Yes to More Things
There are several reasons to do this. For one thing, you'll experience more and that's never a bad thing. For another, hiring managers and bosses and colleagues love someone who's willing to go the extra mile. Don't go too far, don't sacrifice your whole life for extra tasks and good impressions, but it won't hurt to say yes to new things.
13. Pick One Thing and Make It Amazing
You can't be an expert at everything. It's impossible, for starters, plus no one likes a no-it-all. You may have many talents. You may be very good at lots of things. However, especially when you're trying to succeed at something, it's so much better to shine the brightest at a single task or specialty.
14. Don't Just Follow Your Passion but Something Larger than Yourself
Following your passion is great, but sometimes it isn't enough. Aim for something bigger than yourself. Something huge. Something with the potential to change even one tiny portion of the world. Remember, too, that you're one great talent might be different from your biggest passion – and that's okay. You can be passionate about many things, after all.
15. Keep Things Simple
Over-complicating things never did anyone any favors. It makes things messy and confusing. That's why it's important to stand out as a superstar in one particular area. Simplify your life and that will take care of a lot of angst and anxiety.
All right, stalkers. It's your turn. Do you have any other pieces of advice for the 20-somethings out there? Either we've all been there or we'll all be there. This is a wonderful, horrible, terrifying, terrific time. Navigating the waters can be tricky, so we need to lend each other a hand.