Embarking on a career in your twenties is one of the most exciting things you will go through, as well as one of the most stressful things you will ever go through. It’s exciting because it is a brand new start, a fresh slate after college. The world is in fact your oyster. And at the same time it’s stressful, because unlike Carrie Bradshaw in the Carrie Diaries, we don’t all start working at our dream job while in high school. So how does an ambitious, driven, wide-eyed young woman make her way to finding her dream job? Well, here are a few ways to start.
I’m sure this may sound vaguely familiar, but the problem with driven and ambitious women is that we tend to be hard on ourselves. We are our worst critic. It’s not enough to have completed college, have a few internships under your belt, land a job right out of college, be financially independent and volunteer every once in a while. No. There is always more that we could be doing, or so we assume. And why is that? Because we have yet to reach where we want to be. But here’s the thing, and let me say this loud and clear – relax sister!
You do not have to have it all figured out. Stressing out about everything you should be doing or have yet to do will not get you closer to your end goal. All stress does is gives us anxiety, kinks in our necks, and puts us in foul moods. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and accept the fact that you don’t have to have it all figured out.
Make Time for Personal Time
The problem with being a go-getter, especially in our early twenties, is that we are always on the go. While it is an extremely admirable characteristic to be part of this group and that group, and have a commitment nearly every single day after work, it doesn’t leave time for much else.
When trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives, down time for self-reflection is critical. How else are we going to determine what we do and don’t like about our current situation, what’s working or what we want from our next job? If we try to figure out what we want to do with our futures, while in a state of constant confusion and overbooked with commitments, moving forward will be more difficult. Setting aside quality time with yourself to work through the kinks or to even just sit still is invaluable. Clarity often comes when we block the noise of our day-to-day lives and just be.
Take a Chance
I think for a lot of us young women in our early twenties, we want to make the most strategic moves when it comes to our career. We don’t want to leave a company too soon because it might look bad on our resume, or we fear that if we leave our current job that the next one won’t be what we want, and the list goes on and on. However, what if we flew by the seat of our pants sometimes? I’m not suggesting to let reason and strategy go out the window, but what if we took the out of the blue interview or went on a whim and tried something different?
Some individuals are lucky and know exactly what they want to do, but for those of us that don’t, it’s going to be a series of trial and error until we nail down exactly what we want to do. So, why not have a little fun with it and take the chance? Whatever the chance may be, take it!
Connect, Connect, Connect
The best thing any of us young professionals trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives is to connect with a variety of people from industries of interest. Do we have to personally know the person? Not at all. That’s why tools such as LinkedIn are absolutely brilliant.
Research the companies you are interested in, find someone in a position you would potentially like to work towards and invite them out for coffee or ask them if they’d be willing to have a 30 minute conversation over the phone to pick their brain. Getting insight and details on a job that you might be interested in from someone who works on the inside and is more seasoned in the job market is extremely eye-opening. So, don’t be shy to shoot them a quick message on LinkedIn or reach out via email. The worst they could say is no.
So go out in the world, chase your dreams, and don’t be afraid about being lost and confused because that’s what your twenties are for!