30 Pieces of Career Advice for Young Professionals

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When you are stepping into the 20s and 30s, it becomes crucial to follow common career advice for young professionals in the workplace.

Are you looking for some solid career advice for young professionals in the workplace?

If so, then you'll really find this article beneficial.

As a Millennial, you may be driven about paving your own path or carving your niche, focusing on what works for you.

Or, you may not be all for putting every little goal of yours within specific timelines.

In fact, there are hundreds of things you don’t have to accomplish by 30 (or 40, or 50, or ever…). But when it is about your career, there are some things that you really should start learning at some point and getting started with them sooner, always work well for you in the long run.

Not because some career expert emphasizes that you must act before it's late, but simply because of your professional career prospects will greatly benefit you by learning these career lessons and will help make your daily responsibilities at work would be a whole lot easier to carry out.

Strapped for time? Let's get into it. Here are some of the best tips and advice for young professionals in the workplace that you should start to learn SOON:

Career Lessons Young Professionals Need To Learn

When you are stepping into the 20s and 30s, it becomes crucial to follow common career advice for Millennials in the workplace for fulfilling career opportunities ahead.

1. Understand what your weaknesses are

While it’s always beneficial to determine what you’re efficient at, you must also try and figure out from early on about the things you’re not so great at. Not only can you make yourself more marketable, but this is necessary to help you understand how you can make the best use of your skill sets. Then you can figure out who should you work with to complement the skills and brings the best results to the table.

2. Know how you can delegate the work

Nobody is infallible, and if you think you could accomplish everything on your own, then you are probably delusional. As you climb the ladder of your career, you will have to learn to differentiate between the things you should be investing your time on and the things you should leave to others.

And even more importantly, you should be able to figure out when you can bring in the other staff members, your partners, or colleagues to carry out specific work.

3. Made a mistake? Take it in your stride!

Even the mightiest superheroes have shortcomings. You may have had an impressive record as an employee, but the chances are that you might stumble multiple times in the course of your career. And that is just an integral part of your professional growth.

Do you think Elon Musk or Sunder Pichai didn’t have their share of bad days? So you too can have the scope to take lessons (valuable lessons) from your mistakes and emerge as a refined version of yourself which will ensure your professional growth.

4. Volunteer to head or supervise a project

While this isn’t essential and not necessarily applicable in every instance, it would be helpful for you to have an opportunity to supervise a campaign or a project by the time you're on the verge of stepping into the 30s, as it will propel your professional and personal growth in the correct direction. This is smart career advice for young professionals, as this is building management and leadership experience which will allow you to achieve a greater position in the near future.

5. Feel free to step over your comfort zone

It’s probably said a million times, but the magic does happen when you step out of your comfort zone. While people in their 20s tend to be experimental and dabble into many activities at once, they are still in the process of metamorphoses and yet to be disjointed from their cocoons before developing the wings they need to forge ahead.

For people who are about to hit the 30 mark, it’s time to explore unchartered territories beyond their comfort zone, specifically for their career growth and to avoid career plateau.

6. Learn to say no

Learning to say no is an ability that you have to master. More often than not, in an attempt to be on the good books of your superiors and colleagues, we tend to bite off more than we can chew. We even tend to tolerate what is commonly known as subtle exploitation, just to avoid any consequences.

This is not only important for you to be strong-willed but also aware of the office environment in general. So, you need to be firm and able to say no when you are asked to do something that isn't your responsibility, for example.

7. Don’t push yourself too far

Amidst all the lofty, inspirational blogs and articles that constantly encourage you to ‘hustle', you need to keep in mind that working in your 30s means you should have a clear idea of how far you’re willing to push yourself to accomplish your career goals. From a long commute to work to overworking or burnout does not deserve glorification since the consequences of it will be even harder to live with.

8. Think about the long-term gains

When you step into the 30s, you should have enough clarity to determine the long-term benefits of your profession wherever it’s applicable. There is no point in continuing with a dead-end job if it doesn’t let you enjoy enough opportunities that boost your professional growth in the next five years.

Thinking about it early on will always help to decipher what works best for your career prospects when you are looking for work. You should also invest in having your resume stand out from the crowd (especially if you are writing your first resume). Invest in your career by spending a few hundred on a resume writing service, as it will be on the best investments you can make in your 20s and 30s.

9. Your professional reputation should be your priority

In an age of shares, likes and follows, it’s exceedingly difficult to keep your personal life under wraps. However, it’s best not to get carried away and post a dozen pictures of you out drinking on social media. Because you wouldn’t want your colleagues, clients, and bosses to get the wrong ideas about your working diligence.

So it’s always advised to practice a little caution when your reputation is on the line, a little bit of recklessness may cost you dearly.

10. Create an impressive resume

This is not only for the novices looking to get a foothold in the corporate world. You must always strive to keep your resume updated, just in case your present job isn’t satisfying enough or even if you have to prove your capability to undertake a promising project. ‘Pitching’ is a word which in every aspect is vital for your professional life. More young professionals should be doing this and this is one the top career advice for young professionals in the workplace I would recommend doing it sooner than later.

11. Gain experience outside of your area of work

Typically, a 30-something professional has a much wider range of experience than a 20-something. While there have been instances where individuals have continued their first jobs for decades at a time, you should gather as much experience as you can, in areas beyond your line of work. This will only strengthen your credibility.

12. Learn the basics of making a sale

You don’t necessarily have to be a salesperson to have an understanding of how to make a sale. This is a skill you should nurture by observing and practicing at your workplace. This is solid advice for young professionals in the workplace and just about anyone who wants to succeed in life.

13. Take up something on the side

It’s natural for you to feel bored while doing the same kind of work every day, that’s human nature. When you find yourself saying words like ‘saturated’ and ‘monotonous’ all too often, then you’re at a juncture in your life where the same mundane tasks don’t excite you anymore.

To avoid falling prey to the unproductivity levels brought upon by the monotony, you can consider delving into a side project or side hustles and make use of your free time to work on it.

14. Learn the acquired skill of damage-control

Damage-control is another skill you need to acquire. Especially because at this point in your career, it is expected of you to possess the ability to clear up the mess you’ve made.

15. Invest in savings

You’re approaching 30s, and you probably have a fair bit of knowledge of how you want the next five years to turn out. You may be sure of your chosen profession. So do you have the savings you need to achieve the things you want in the next five years? If the answer is no, then it’s time you indulge in some smart planning.

16. Don't be afraid to ask for help

Never asking for help isn’t a strength. Unfortunately, I learned this one the hard way. It may seem as though you are coming off as superhuman but often times you will save yourself and others time if you just ask for help at the beginning instead of pushing through it on your own.

17. Negotiate your salary

A top priority of some, is money. When it comes to your salary always ask for more within reason because you want to score a high paying job, right? Do your research about common salaries within the area of that job title. Is it a job that normally starts at $50K per year or a six-figure salary? Even if it is an internship, check to see if it is one of the highest paying internships and go from there.

Often times employees ask for lower than the employer is willing to go and settle on the lesser amount. As a person who fears rejection, it can be hard to ask for things when the possibilities of the answer being no are higher. However, if you never ask or try the answer will always be no. Speaking up could potentially deepen your pockets so it’s worth a shot!

18. Be part of the team

Go to some “after work” functions. Whether it’s the companies holiday parties or after-work drinks going can be useful. This time can be valuable in learning things not only about the company but about other employees and can help get you on your bosses good side. Making connections within your company is always a good thing. 

19. Be friendly with your coworkers

Contacting your coworkers is a useful way of making and keeping connections. Even grabbing the contact information of coworkers who are leaving the company is important. This can help broaden and build your network. Who you know can pay off.

20. Make a great first impression for your interview

Treat your job interview like a first date, it is supposed to benefits you both. It is ultimately up to you and the company (or the interviewer) if it’s a good fit. You'll definitely want to do some research on the company in order to ace your job interview. If the first impression doesn’t feel right don’t feel stuck just because they offered you a position. The connection must be made on both ends of the party, it’s a two-way street. Be prepared, and consider checking out some common interview questions for Millennials so you won't get stumped by any interview questions that'll probably get thrown your way.

21. Your job isn't your life

Following your passion, doesn’t always mean your career. Many can find ways to follow their passion outside of their career. Your passion may not be how you make a living, but still make time for it. Taking care of yourself and doing things you enjoy should be a top priority in your life.

22. Do you

You are not required to stay at a job for a specific amount of time. Often people stay in jobs that they are unhappy with for far too long and hit a career plateau. It is okay to leave a job that is mentally draining or physically too demanding. I promise you will thank yourself once you do!

23. Don't try to change people

Eight, don’t waste time trying to change your boss and colleagues. Wasting energy on trying to change things out of control will just lead to additional unnecessary stress. By the end of each day, you will feel unaccomplished and like there is always more to do because you cannot control what others do and how they behave. Instead, focusing on your performance and what you can change about yourself and how you can become better each day will lead to more productive and happier workdays.

24. Take your time

Racing to the top sometimes can be a downfall. People often want to get to the top as fast as possible to be the youngest to ever accomplish something or want to make more money or just want to be more respected. This leads to them rushing to get to the highest rank in the company wasting valuable learning opportunities. With a job think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.

25. Job requirements are negotiable

Job requirements are negotiable is one of the best job application tips I've ever learned. I wish I could go back and tell my seventeen-year-old self this. I didn’t apply for many jobs because I did not have many of the requirements of the jobs because of my lack of experience. However, this is still useful knowledge currently because this allows everyone to not set limits. If you feel confident you have the skills and abilities to do the job or learn them apply for it! Training is for learning.

26. Learn to say no

Learning how to say no is important. Frequently we hear about the importance of saying yes to new things and how exciting it can turn out. Yet, we neglect the importance of the word no. Setting boundaries and knowing your limitations to be not only the most efficient worker but also your best self each day is critical.

27. Take ownership of your failures

Failures are habitually frowned upon. Instead, look at your failures as a chance to learn and grow. We commonly forget that we were once new and did not have all of the knowledge we have later on in our careers. We all mess up and that is okay, as long as you absorb it and grow from the experience.

28. What is “realistic” is an illusion

When we grow up we set limitations on ourselves based on what we see around us and how we are raised. If we have only known labor jobs sometimes that seems like the only place we will end up. However, we must break the glass ceilings of limitations and find out how much we can truly accomplish. Most kids grow up hearing “You can be anything you want to be if you set your mind to it.” But as we get older, the world gets more real and things seem less realistic. Sometimes I feel as though we need some of the optimism we have as children carried into our adulthood to push our potential.

29. Pick a boss, not a company

Your boss will be with you day in and day out the majority of the time. Choose someone who is the best in that field and mentor them. This will help you set your own standards high and you will then mirror their actions which will lead you to be a successful worker. 

30. The real education begins after college

College may prepare you for some aspects of the job. Real knowledge is learned by doing and through training. Taking the time and asking questions while you’re in training and throughout your time in your career will help you become a better employee, more than earning an A in any classroom ever could.

Career Advice for Young Professionals Summary

When searching for a career people will hand out advice like its candy. Most of the time it is the same advice that is only useful sometimes. The most helpful tips you learn are those that are regularly kept under the radar. Those hints and tricks are unspoken but handy.

Often time when searching for a job we search for career advice. Along the way, in our searches, we find answers from friends, family, the internet, mentors, etc. that fall along the lines of “Follow your dreams and passions!” “Say yes!” and “Don’t give up.” Yet, many won’t share the secrets that actually helped them along the way to their career. Remember, these are legitimate pieces of career advice for young professionals that can really make a difference.

Having said all that, your 30s, like every other stage of your life, is likely to have its share of ups and downs. In many cases, don’t stop learning from every single minute of the journey, through big or small experiences, which you will recall fondly for the rest of your life.

Hopefully, you got some good career advice for young professionals.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News, Debt.com, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!