In these past few months, I’ve received a lot of questions from readers and peers regarding career advice. After having many conversions around building your dream career or how to your start your business, I thought it would be helpful if I share with you some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way.
Identify your Passion
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always known what make my heart sing. I’ve always enjoyed flexing my creative muscles and telling a story through acting, dance, singing, writing, style, and through a variety of other mediums. Not everyone knows so deeply what makes him or her tick and that’s ok. The reality is that your twenties are the perfect time for career exploration. While it can feel counterintuitive to do so after you’ve invested time, energy, and even finances into pursuing a specific job, there’s really no better time to try something new than right now.
If you’re still in school be sure to take advantage of internships to explore different career paths. If you’re out of school and are already in a job that feels lifeless but you’re not able to quit yet try to volunteer at an organization that sparks your interest or set up an information interview with a company. Perhaps take night classes or go to conferences to explore passions.
Grow your Network
Network, network, network. Honestly, this is one of the most important pieces of career advice you’ll ever get. Good or bad, it all comes down to who you know, not always what you know. No matter your chosen field, your network will pay an important role throughout your career. So, it’s best if you can start growing it as early as possible. Attend networking events and be sure to utilize LinkedIn. If all else fails, talk to your family + friends and ask around if anyone knows of anyone in the industry you are most interested in.
Build your Brand
While you’re channeling energy into building your network, you should also be working on building your personal brand. Create a personal website that can act as your digital portfolio. Also, make sure you have personalized business cards at all times. An important aspect of building your brand is also the way you carry yourself and how others perceive you in the community. Get involved by speaking at events, being more active on social media, joining associations, or volunteering for a worthy cause and make a positive name for yourself.
Learn as Much as You Can
Your twenties are the perfect time to be a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as you can. Find a mentor you trust and can learn from. Ask questions. Do research and reading on your own time. Listen closely to feedback and constructive criticism so that you can use that input to continuously grow and improve. Now is the time to learn as much as you possibly can and grow in the most formative years of your career.
Set Goals, but be Flexible
The cliché saying “Reach for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” comes to mind. Setting goals allow you the structure to know what you’re working towards and it also helps to motivate. Really take the time to think through what is it is your desire to accomplish. Then research and brainstorm ways to make this a reality. Set your goals, but at the same time, recognize that life requires a certain degree of flexibility. You never know what opportunities lay ahead and if you’re too focused on following one path you may miss out on chances of a lifetime.
Photography by Logan Ronan