Career Goals For Your 20’s: Part 1

Personal development never really stops – but there are certain things you should really have achieved by a certain age, otherwise you’ll come up against barriers later in your life. In this series, we’re going to be exploring a few of the checkboxes you should be ticking in each decade of your professional life, and we’ll look at what you need to do in order to cross them off your to-do list.

In your 20s, your focus really ought to be on maximising your potential later in life, because these are the defining years – when you’ll lay the foundations of your personal and professional life. 

These are the years in which you’ll discover your unique method of communicating with others. You’ll find out what your adult identity looks like – making a few mistakes along the way (don’t worry, everybody does) – and eventually you’ll identify which aspects of life hold real meaning for you. It’s quite a lot – but it’s easier to navigate if you’ve got a decent map. Here’s one you can borrow.

Keep a journal
Write down your goals. When you’re starting out on your career journey, it can become extremely difficult to find time for yourself – and you might find yourself feeling guilty about creating space to do that. The important thing is not to lose sight of the things you’re trying to achieve. Think of two or three achievable goals that would make you feel successful, and write them down. These goals can be anything – whether you’d like to teach yourself a new skill by the end of the year, or spend a week on the beach in Greece. Write it down, and keep a record of your progress so you can hold yourself accountable.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s nothing more frustrating than being treated like a child, but you might find at the beginning of your career that people don’t give you as much credit as you feel you deserve. Remember – you’re just starting out. There are things you don’t know – and you’ll make mistakes (we all do) as you navigate the first few years in the workplace. Try to avoid dwelling on these accidents – when you drop the ball, forgive yourself and pick it back up. A positive attitude goes a long way, and a little self-awareness goes even further. 

Remember to reward yourself for your accomplishments. Even when you’ve been working yourself to the bone to achieve something, it’s all too easy to roll straight into your next responsibility without giving yourself a little credit. It takes time and effort to finish a goal, and ticking it off your to-do list won’t really cut it. Go and treat yourself to whatever makes you happiest. Your peers will hopefully acknowledge your hard work – but nobody knows how to celebrate you like you do. 

For more advice on how to maximise your potential in the workplace, speak to Finito: The Employability Experts can help you take your career to the next level.