I recently read an opinion post written for Forbes by Mary Ray as a part of YEC Women (Young Entrepreneur Council), a program for mentoring young female business professionals. Her post was written with women in mind, but it does apply to everyone working their way up their career path. It’s not about how to make money, or the decisions you should make. This article is about the things you can do to make life easier for yourself, to be successful as a working person, not just at work. You should definitely take a look at the full article here: 10 Career Tips for a 20-Something.
Here’s what I took out of it:
Above all, when setting yourself up for success you need to remember you. It’s easy to forget yourself among all of the stress of finals, job interviews, work, etc. that the whole point is to be happy with where we are. So yes, work hard, but also spend time with yourself and the people who make you happy. Schedule it in if you have to. Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. How? From the article:
- Work out- however you want, just get your heart pumping
- Surround yourself with people who support you
- “Every night, think of three positive things from the day”
Advocate for yourself
When it comes to your career, there is nobody who is going to make sure you’re reaching your goals. That’s all up to you. You need to be able to stand up for yourself: Negotiate that raise, be heard in meetings, only take on what you can handle, etc. Be confident! The best thing you can do for yourself is to know that you are good, and that you deserve to be treated that way.
You need people around you. So does everyone else. That’s why networking is a huge part of the working world. The people you are working with understand the world you’re in, so they’re good people to have with you when you need to vent. They’re also good if/when you move on. Don’t forget about the people in your past. Former bosses and coworkers are still people you can call on, so make sure to keep those relationships in good standing.
I can definitely see why this was written by someone mentoring young women. Often, we forget that we have to take care of ourselves, not just everyone else. We need to practice advocating for ourselves, and that’s often really hard to do. So I think it’s important to remind yourself of that pretty often. I’m personally bookmarking this…and putting it in as a task for next semester’s finals week to make me feel better.
Overall, the one thing us Millennials need to remember is that our career is for us. It does no good to have a killer resume if at the end of the day we’re not happy.