Professional Habits You Need to Develop in Your 20's

One’s twenties are one’s prime years in which a lot of personal development takes place. It is during our twenties that it is crucial to develop professional habits as we transition into adulthood. 

Developing good habits early on will help you achieve both professional and personal goals and will set precedence for future success. Whether it is by helping you land your dream career, internship, helping you get into grad school, or helping you learn more about financial wellness, these professional habits will help you get a head start on your future endeavors. 

​​​​   1. Step out of your comfort zone 

You have the power to limit yourself and your potential and abilities by staying in a comfort zone, as you have the power to step out of it and create the life you wish to live. Say yes to things even if it’s outside your comfort zone. Constantly push yourself to try new things. Remind yourself that you have nothing to lose but everything to gain by saying yes and stepping outside your comfort zone. Often it’s the things that we turn down or hold back from doing that we later regret. Challenge yourself to say yes to things you would normally say no to. This doesn’t have to be something major like sky-diving or zip-lining, but rather it can be small little things like proposing an idea at your job or in one of your classes if you’re someone who is normally quiet or shy. Or this can be trying something new like taking a yoga class or a pilates class for the first time. Remind yourself that stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary and beneficial to your self-growth and to your future. 

    2. Find a mentor 

While the path to success may seem really far, finding a mentor can become your shortcut to reaching your professional goals. Like all in life, we each learn from trial and error. Finding a mentor with experience in your field of choice can help you learn more about the career you are pursuing and can guide you through the process. Having someone to discuss your professional goals with and any questions or concerns you may have is highly beneficial and significant to your career growth. A mentor can be your current employer, a current or previous professor you had or currently have, your internship supervisor, or even a family member with experience in your field. 



    3. Maintain relationships

During our twenties, we’re constantly being told of the importance of networking - although we rarely ever hear about how important it is to preserve and maintain those relationships with those we network with. Maintaining relationships is vital to your future endeavors as you never know if those you meet will be of help with future business ventures or if they might serve as a reference on your resume or help you obtain that reference letter you’ll need for a future job or to get into grad school. Learn to preserve relationships and don’t be afraid to reach out to previous employers, professors, people you met at any seminar or training, or even people you shadowed at a previous job or internship. 

    4. Get rid of self-doubt 

Nothing hinders career growth quite like self-doubt. If you aren’t confident in yourself how can prospective employers be confident in your abilities? Learning to trust in yourself and your potential is essential to your personal and career growth. Find a technique that will help you overcome self-doubt and insecurity. Whether it be reading daily affirmations and mantras each morning when starting your day, self-reflecting to analyze and change your self-talk, or turning to empowering podcasts to help you change your thinking of yourself, abandon self-doubt. 


     5. Create a budget and stick to it

Be wise about how you are spending your money. Creating a spreadsheet on Excel is a great way to visually see your intake and your spending. Observe and carefully see what and how much you are investing in and compare that to how much your monthly income is. You may find that you may be spending too much on certain areas and can use that to compensate for more important necessities. A great way to determine that is by distinguishing your needs vs. wants. Ensure that your ideal monthly budget covers basic necessities such as rent, food, transportation, etc. and still gives you room to use what you have left for your wants. Then commit yourself to not spend any more above your budget. While sticking to a budget might be difficult at first, it is a habit you must master as you transition into adulthood.  

     6. Do your research and expand your skills

There is always room to learn more and expand your knowledge on something. If you’re passionate about something or find yourself really intrigued by it, do your research on it. The internet is flooded with informative resources that are all at your reach. There are even some great websites like Skillshare and Coursera that offer online courses to help you master career skills you’ll need for the career path of your choice. Upon completing a course, you earn an online course certificate or specialization certificate that you can share with prospective employers or add to your LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills. Continuously look for ways to expand your skills. This will increase your chances of standing out among other candidates when applying to your dream job in the future.