Career Goals For Your 30’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 general, we’re told that by the time we’re 30, we should have figured most things out. Whether it’s your relationship, finances, or career, it can be demotivating when you hit thirty and things haven’t quite gone according to plan. The idea that everything should be sorted by the time you leave your twenties is simply wrong. Your 30s are a great time to make positive changes to your life, regardless of where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’ll typically have around 35 more years of work to do, so this phase of your life is all about making sure those years are as happy as possible. Here are a few things that should help:

Continue Building Healthy Habits

The cornerstone of success is a nice set of healthy habits. You might have already established some of these in your 20s, in which case, keep up the good work! But not everybody gets along with exercise, some of us wrestle with insomnia, and many of us struggle to ignore the temptation of an unhealthy diet. That’s why establishing habits is important – it’s the most effective way to transform a chore into an automatic process. You shouldn’t underestimate the positive effect a healthy lifestyle can have on your career, and in your 30s the three pillars of good health (exercise, sleep and diet) will become increasingly important. 

One of the healthiest (but often overlooked) habits we can develop is all about forgiveness. Not the forgiveness of others, but the forgiveness of ourselves. We all make mistakes throughout our career – none of us escape those early years unscathed – but it’s the way you think about those mistakes which determines whether they’ll help you improve, or drag you down. Self-compassion is a really important element of success, as Emma Seppala argues in The Happiness Track. When we’re kind to ourselves, we have a much higher chance to learn from our mistakes, and do a lot better next time we’re confronted with the same problem. It’s a difficult skill to learn, as so many of us are conditioned to give ourselves a hard time – but next time you catch yourself worrying about an error you made, try to talk yourself down using the same language you’d use to reassure a friend who’s gone through a similar issue.

If you’re not aware of Marie Kondo yet, it might be worth taking a look into her approach to decluttering in pursuit of happiness. Most of her work has been focused on cleaning the house, but her methods can be applied to other areas as well – including your career. Whether it’s toxic working relationships, unpleasant responsibilities you’ve picked up along the way, or the clutter on your desk – start finding ways to keep only the things that ‘spark joy’ – and get rid of everything else. Ignore this if you know from experience that you don’t thrive in a minimalist environment – they do say a little mess can do wonders for creative work.

For more advice on how to maximise your potential in the workplace, contact us now to find out how The Employability Experts can help you take your career to the next level.