Your twenties are a crucial time to develop professional habits as you transition into adulthood.
Creating good habits early on will help you achieve your career goals and set the precedence for future success. The earlier you start, the sooner you’ll master your goals and get your bearings in a career you love, so whether you’re fresh out of college, still in college, or starting in a new industry, these professional habits are for everyone.
Work on your hardest tasks first
Working on your hardest tasks first makes you more productive the rest of the day and will motivate you to achieve more goals. I try to do my hardest tasks early in the morning because this is the peak time that I have energy to do the work (after 3 p.m. my brain wants to shut off). For you that could be later in the afternoon or later at night, it really depends on the individual.
Get rid of self-doubt
Nothing kills career growth quite like self-doubt. Lack of confidence is the biggest turn off for coworkers because they pick up on your self-doubt, and thus, won’t be confident in your abilities. As someone who has struggled with this a lot in the past, I advise you to give yourself a much needed break. You are human and you are going to make mistakes (that’s okay). Everyone starts somewhere and every successful person started at the beginning.
Step out of your comfort zone
Every successful person on the planet took a huge risk at some point in their lives. If you don’t step out of your comfort bubble and try new things, you never grow and evolve into a better you. If you just take that one leap of faith, you will discover things about yourself that you would’ve never known otherwise.
I encourage you to try something uncomfortable often. It doesn’t have to be huge like zip-lining through a rain forest — you could take small steps each day like presenting ideas in a meeting you’re normally silent or sitting by the girl who is always by herself at lunch.
This can be so hard, yet so freeing. Perfectionism is a myth and is an unfair expectation of yourself because to make mistakes is to be human. If you never made mistakes then you’d never learn and grow. Give yourself a break an try to embrace the imperfections once in awhile. It’s okay to not be perfect all the time, that’s what makes you human.
I try to always stay between 10 to 15 minutes early for any important business meetings or events because you never know what could cause a delay. This shows others that you are serious and really care about the job.
Find a mentor
I am all about finding shortcuts to success by learning from people with previous experience. Having someone to talk to about your professional goals is so helpful when you’re establishing your career. They can even help you network with other people and open up more business opportunities.
Maintaining lifelong relationships is important for your career success because you never know when you might need some help in your business-ventures (or even a reference). Maybe someday your colleague might come up to you with new career opportunities — the point is that you never know, so it’s always good to keep rapport.
Being organized is an asset that will only help you later in life. It makes life so much easier because you don’t have to spend your precious time looking for paperwork, office supplies, etc. that could be spent being productive. I can’t tell you the amount of times I would’ve saved myself so much time and frustration if I would’ve just been organized from the start. Don’t be like the past me, develop these professional habits now.
Regularly update your resume
I aim to update my resume every 3 months because I’m always changing little details on it. Updating it regularly will decrease the amount of time you’d have to update it when looking for a new job and will ensure that you are always prepared for new career opportunities.
Also, it’s important to always bring a copy of your resume to job interviews. Usually the hiring manager has a copy, but they might not, so it’s a good professional habit to always bring one just in case.
As a new employee, always say yes to new opportunities or projects, especially if they are out of your comfort zone. Your twenties is the best time to take risks, make mistakes, so use this time to try new things. By doing so, you will learn new skills that’ll help you advance in your career. Your courage is something that coworkers will look up to and bosses will reward you for because you’re the one who took the initiative.
Truly listen, ask good questions, and speak with purpose
If you want to become a leader early on in your career, this is the way to go. When you’re a new employee, it’s important to truly listen, take notes, go through the process multiple times and ask great questions. By doing so, you will pick up the routine faster and start contributing to the team earlier on, thus moving up the ranks quicker. Don’t be afraid to ask the person who is training you to repeat themselves if you didn’t hear what they’re saying (but don’t do this too often or else they’ll assume you’re not listening).
Also, when you speak, only speak with purpose and intention. There is no need for small talk when a conversation becomes silent just to bridge the awkwardness. You don’t want to risk sounding annoying or uneducated. There is great power in being silent, observant and speaking only when you need to. People may start to think of you as more intelligent and trustworthy because you only talk about what’s important.
Make everything you touch turn to gold
I saved this one for the very end because I believe it’s the most important. I promise this tip will change your life, so read carefully.
I was watching a Youtube video the other day from Tai Lopez and he was talking about the one secret to getting rich. He wasn’t just talking about richness money-wise, but about living a more fulfilling life.
What’s his secret? Making everything you touch turn to gold.
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. What if everyone went the extra mile, even if it were for small tasks? How different would the world be? If you want to impress and influence the people around you this is it because by going the extra mile – by “turning everything you touch into gold” – you’ll stand out among the crowd.
Imagine you were a wealthy business owner. Would you hire the guy who had some good ideas but didn’t really apply himself that much or the guy who took every single task to the next level? The guy who is intuitive, thinks about what he can do to benefit your company and then goes the extra mile for you. Would you hire him? I know I would!
Be that guy. In your work, in your relationships, in life in general. Be known as the person who not only gets things done, but leaves a lasting impression.