It’s very easy to find yourself stuck in the mindset that everyone has it all figured out… except you. That’s not true. We live in a world that uses social media to sugarcoat the truths of reality. Some people may have it all together, but chances are they’re trying to figure themselves out too… just like you. As a 20+ something, my advice would be to never compare your self to others. Focus on your story, and have faith that everything will work out. This is a time to experiment, to take some risks, and to discover your potential. If you take it day by day, and trust in the process, life suddenly becomes an adventure rather than a competition with other 20+ somethings. You are going to be just fine. Follow these tips to begin your journey to success.
Tip 1: Education
It really doesn’t matter what you majored in at college or where you attended to earn your degree. What matters is that you pursued higher knowledge; that you understood there are things to learn and work on before you can ever call yourself an expert. Education doesn’t just come in the form of a classroom or University. It can be from home online, it can be at the work-place, it can be an apprenticeship or a mentorship. Regardless of your age and where you are in life, we are always learning. I notice success favors those who stay humble and continuously work hard. So, stay driven.
Despite having a Masters degree, I consider myself self-taught. My academic studies are rooted in media and communications, but I am self-taught in much of the areas that the classrooms have never exposed me to. As a designer and entrepreneur, I taught myself the language of fashion design, how to brand myself and my products, how to create content that appeals to people, how to put myself out there, how to understand trends, how to design something from scratch, how to source reliable vendors etc. The list goes on. It’s called taking the initiative. By having faith in myself, I ended up learning so much more than from my textbooks. The classroom helps, but utilizing what you have learned from the classroom to the real world brings everything into full circle.
Life is about discovery. By learning something new everyday, you are living and discovering more of life.
Tip 2: Self Care
How can anyone be successful or call themselves a success if they never put themselves first? If you need to be a reflection of the kind of person you strive to be. You need to make YOU a priority, always. You are the vehicle that makes it all happen. Your body is a machine that has potential to work magic. Your brain works hard in the areas of the imagination and your heart feels what it means to love what you do. In order to take full advantage of all of that, your body needs to be respected and cared for. Your mental health and physical health go hand in hand. It doesn’t matter how much money you make because we all operate on the same amount of time. If it truly matters to you, you make the time. Self-care is a priority for all successful people.
Tip 3: Confidence
If you identify as an extrovert or an introvert, it doesn’t matter. Confidence is not an innate personality; it is a way of being. It is a choice. When you accept yourself for the way you are, when you embrace your individuality, when you treasure yourself and give yourself the credit you deserve - you are confident.
Tip 4: Organization
I love lists! I have tons of notepads all over my office and my bedroom. My mind is constantly juggling “to-dos” and fresh ideas. I find that I collect my inspiration in situations when I am not forced to work, but rather when I am relaxed. This is almost always the case when I am taking a shower or a bath, or even sleeping! That’s why I need to have my pens and pads around to stay organized.
Unfortunately, I tend to be very forgetful if I don’t write things down. For the moment, it may feel as though I’ll remember it. But as time goes by, my mind is forced to de-clutter. By writing things down I am staying on top of my game, and organized. When you’re in meetings, people also appreciate when they see you writing notes because it shows that you value the information so much that you want to remember it. People will respect you for it. Plus, when you have things written down, you can always go back to it. When someone has a question, you’ll always have the answer! It can’t get better than that my friends. Smart is the new sexy.
Tip 5: Contacts
I owe much of my success to the people I know and who I have met along the way. Everyone knows someone. Building a professional network can boost your social circle and put your name on the map. Carry business cards with you because you never know who you will run into. Attend industry events and socialize outside of work. It helps. If you can, travel. If you’re brave enough, give your favorite companies a call. Tell them you are seeking career advice and wish to gain some experience in the field. Ask if there is any available time to meet for coffee and discuss the possibilities that may be open. People almost always want to help others if they can. If not, people may know of other possibilities you never thought of. Stay positive, and hustle. Have a resume on file and ready to go if you need to show someone. If you put yourself out there in a good light, you will shine.