Navigating your twenties is tough; you’ve graduated college and are officially attempting to be a full-fledged adult. You probably have tons of energy, are a little confused on what comes next, and are making lots of good (and bad) mistakes. One of the questions I’ve constantly asked myself in my twenties is – am I doing enough? Will I regret not doing ‘this’ or ‘that’ in my 30s or 40s? Ultimately, being in your twenties means being a work in progress. There’s always more time. But, if you can focus, (in addition to having fun, obvi) on these things in your twenties – your thirties will be that much more successful.
One of the things I’ve personally found hardest about my twenties is trying to ‘set myself up’ for the rest of my life. It’s easy to constantly feel caught in between wanting to have fun and go crazy with your friends (aka pretend your still a freshman in college), and also save enough money to one day have a family and do this whole adulting thing.
The idea of entering my thirties in a year in a half is pretty freaking scary. Thirties means things like marriage, babies, and having to check what’s in my savings account. The idea of buying a house, or even a car, seems impossible in San Francisco. But despite these regular thoughts, there are certain aspects of your twenties that everyone should do. Heck, what could be better than knowing you will be successful in your thirties, or even forties.
Here are the 9 most important things to start doing in your twenties, so you are successful in your thirties.
9 Important Things Do In Your Twenties So You Are Successful In Your Thirties – What things to do you need do in your 20s to be successful?
Start Incorporating Self-Care Routine That Works For You
Burnout is something I hear about often when talking to other twenty somethings. It feels like we’re always tired and always busy. This movement (and perhaps overused word) of self-care is trending for a reason. I truly believe that in your twenties you have to figure out how to keep yourself sane with a great self-care routine. Life only gets busier, not the other way around.
For me, I know I need to meditate and work out. I’ve recently taken up running (which I used to hate) but am slowly able to make it past two miles. I also work on T20S in order to to clear my mind. I like having something that’s all mine that I can define success in – outside of work.
Keep in touch with old friends
Keeping in touch with old friends is an integral part of your twenties. Now, I don’t believe that you have to keep in touch with all of your childhood friends. In fact, I only talk to one or two friends from college. I have grown too different from most friends I had there. But there are a group of three or four girls I’ve known since I was nine that are my everything.
They just get me. And it’s important to not forget to call those people even if you live far away or lead different lives now. There’s something really special about having a childhood friend that you shouldn’t lose just because you moved away and life changed.
Separate your success at work from life
Separating your success at work from life is one of the most important parts of your twenties. Here me out: you cannot define your success in life as a result of how well you are doing at work. I work in sales full time which means my work has lots of ups and downs. Sometimes I feel on top of the world and sometimes I feel like a complete failure.
Figuring out how to separate how good I felt about myself in my life from how well I was doing at work was not easy. In fact, it took me years – and lots of tears. It’s probably still a work in progress.
Work hard, but not too hard
Learning how to work productively in your twenties is so important. As I said, life (I hear) is only going to get more busy. And as much as that sounds less than optimal, I am really proud of how productive I’ve come to be in my twenties.
In your twenties, you should figure how to work to live, not live to work. Does that make sense? Figuring how to work hard so you can live your fabulous life is an important skill. Especially if you are an ambitious girl boss like I know you are, finding that separation is vital.
If you want more productivity hacks, check out the productivity section of T20S.
Learn How to Interview
Jobs are unpredictable. Heck – I got laid off when I was 22. Picking up a few interview hacks, so you can continue moving around your career is a really important skill to hone in on in your twenties.
Figure out how to speak about your accomplishments. More importantly, feel confident in having accomplishments. This is something that so many women struggle with. If we can do this in our twenties, we’ll be in much better shape.
Check out how to prepare for an interview here.
Write Down Your Values
When I was going through a tough time in my twenties, I had someone tell me to write down my values. At the time I was considering moving across the country because I couldn’t find friends, or an apartment in San Francisco. I felt broken, like a perpetual failure – and didn’t know why I couldn’t get my sh*t together.
I had someone suggest to write down on a pen and paper my life values. What did I really care about? I did some soul-searching and realized I wasn’t leading a value-based life. I was leading a life full things I semi-cared about, but not that put my soul on fire.
If you haven’t done this exercise in your twenties, try it. What’s the worst that will happen?
Travel the World
Traveling in your twenties is essential. I have traveled with friends, with my boyfriend, and more – and still feel like I have so much of the world to see. It’s semi-killing me in quarantine that I cannot travel.
If you don’t know where to travel, or how to travel – no fear. Get on instagram, or on pinterest – there are so many great travel ideas. Then if you don’t feel like you have the means to travel, look into credit card points – you’d be surprised how easy it is to travel for free.
Learn to Say No
Finding ways to say no was an important part of my twenties. Whether it was a project at work, or to a party I just wasn’t dying to go to – I found that I was happier when I started saying no. In fact, I felt free. I was truly living my value-based life.
Saying no doesn’t mean your rude, it just means you are doing what you want to be doing. But, try figuring out how to say it in a way that doesn’t hurt others. Try not to put others down when you say no, and just say no for you.
Network with people in your industry
Start networking with others in your twenties. I love keeping in touch with people at old roles, you never know how who others will become. And I’ll be honest, I’ve botched some networking meetings. An old colleague of mine at Conde Nast became the president of another publication and I asked for a meeting with him – hadn’t done my research and ruined it.
Even if that happens to you, no fear. Networking is not easy. My best advice would be to practice and not be too hard on yourself if things go south. What other questions do you have about networking in your twenties? Comment below.
Check your credit score
Last but not least, don’t forget to check your credit score in your twenties. Your credit score is really the gateway to buying so many other things in life. You don’t want to miss out because you didn’t do this in your twenties.
Checking your credit score will definitely help set you up for your thirties. So get that score girl!
You might be asking yourself… What is the most important thing to do in your 20s? What things to do you need do in your 20s to be successful?
The answer is, being in your twenties is a constant work in progress. And part of being in your twenties is remembering that that is ok. When you started reading this post you may have thought this list was going to be physical things you have to do in your twenties. Nope! It’s so much more about figuring out who you are and being happy with yourself.
Try doing this list of nine things in your twenties and see how things go in your thirties. Tell me in the comments, which of these have you done? What are you still trying to figure out? I can’t wait to hear.