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Facing Adulthood: 6 Pieces of Advice for Young Professionals

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When you’re finally doing your first job, you might feel rather engulfed by all the new stimuli. You meet a lot of new people (and not everyone will be friendly or cordial), you have bigger responsibilities (both to yourself and your job), and you’re thrown to a place you’ve never been to before.

But that’s fine. You got this. Your cumulative life experience has led you to this, and this is the time for you to be independent and self-supporting. But of course, having a bag of tricks to turn to is perfectly fine. Here are a few to help you out.

Soft Skills and Technical Skills Go Hand in Hand

You might be proud of your technical skills, especially if you’re in a highly specialized field, but that’s not all there is to it to do your job effectively. It will help if you also communicate well, especially since you’ll be talking to people all the time. Every sort of job requires some degree of communication and collaboration, and that’s where soft skills come in handy. Being able to express your ideas and discuss with your coworkers is a boon to any employee. As a young professional, you might have a lot of new ideas you’d like to share, but you also need to learn how to share them effectively.

Manage Your Finances Early On

Everyone and anyone in their late 20s or early 30s will tell young professionals the same thing: handle your finances well! Many people often spend their early working experience spending what money they can get—after all, spending money you’ve earned yourself can be quite satisfying. And many people are eager to purchase things they’ve wanted since childhood. Make sure to set aside some money and establish good credit ratings. You want to be able to afford a mortgage loan or a car loan in your late 20s or early 30s, and taking care of your finances when you’ve just started working is the best way to do that.

Learn to Separate Personal From Professional

Not everyone you meet on your job is going to be your friend. Your coworkers might not even talk to you outside of work-related tasks. And that’s perfectly fine. Part of being an adult is understanding the responsibility of separating your personal social circle from your professional social circle. Work-life balance is a broad idea that encompasses many things, and creating a sort of divide for your social circles will help you handle expectations and social responsibilities better. It also prevents you from constantly being reminded of work, which can sometimes be inundating.

woman choosing a dress

Dress for the Job

Unless your work requires a particular set of uniforms, you always want to look presentable—not the best, but never underdressed, either. Always wear clothing that makes you look professional or presentable. It’s always a matter of looking like you belong, and in a company where the norm is a business suit, it’s best to wear something similar. Of course, there’s always space for self-expression, but dressing appropriately and professionally should always be your focus.

Create Short-term and Long-term Plans

You won’t be a young professional forever; you’ll eventually grow old and want to do something in your life. Creating both short-term and long-term plans is a way to prevent yourself from falling into the trap of not knowing what to do in life. It can be career-based, like getting promoted, or money-based, like saving enough money to buy your own house. All that matters is you have a goal. And if you just made a long-term one, the next step you need to do is cut it into smaller, practical steps that you can do right now. This will help make your dream more achievable and won’t overwhelm you.

Learn From the People Around You

Being young and inexperienced doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to contribute. You can definitely be proactive in sharing your ideas or take potential leadership roles. However, if there’s one thing you should remember, it’s that you should always learn from the people around you. Regardless if they’re a seasoned veteran or a fellow rookie, people will always have something to share and teach you. Take this opportunity to become a student of life! Learning will help you do better anyway, so it’s to your benefit. And don’t just learn from their success. Also, learn from their mistakes. Learn to emulate the good ones and to avoid repeating the errors of others.

It’s hard being a young professional. But it’ll all work out in the end. After all, through experience, you’ll have your own way of dealing with things.

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