Turning 30 is a big milestone for most people. Whether you dread it or look forward to it is totally up to you. The choices that you make in your twenties and the habits that you nurture and perfect will greatly influence your life as you step into your thirties.
When we look at some of the most successful people today, it becomes apparent that they devoted their twenties to developing and molding themselves to become the successful individuals that they are at present.
Here are eight habits that will help you achieve success in your chosen field. Just make sure you cultivate these habits in your twenties, so that they become an integral part of you by the time you turn thirty.
Build Your Professional Network
Networking is the name of the game. No matter which field you are in, be it science and technology or banking and finance, your networking skills will take you places. It is all about making the right connections.
Ronald Burt, Professor of Sociology and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has spent years studying how social networks help create competitive advantage in peoples' careers. One of his firm beliefs is that instead of better glasses, networks give people better eyes. Networks help people better themselves, providing them with opportunities to interact with their peers and seniors and learning and growing from their experiences.
While social media and professional networking platforms like LinkedIn have made it easier to connect with other professionals and industry gurus on a basic level, making a much more significant connection goes beyond adding someone on LinkedIn.
Learn To Strike A Good Work/Life Balance
Yes, you need to work hard and push yourself to be the best you can at what you do. But remember that you also need to maintain a good work/life balance. Many young professionals who are driven and focused in their early career burnout before they even reach their mid-thirties. Not surprising when you consider the long hours and late nights that they put in, sacrificing their personal lives.
Co-founder of Twitter and Medium, Evan Williams, is a strong advocate of good work/life balance. In fact, he lists it as one of the essential ingredients in his formula for entrepreneurial success. "Take care of yourself. When you don't sleep, eat crap, don't exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers."
Learn To Take Risks
The fear of failure can be so potent that before you know it, you are in your thirties with an average life, a safe job, and no great memories to look back on. Whether your risk pays off or not is secondary. What really matters is overcoming the fear and taking the risk.
Peter Drucker, management-consultant and author, whose writings are the bible of the modern business world believes that behind every successful business, there's someone who once made a courageous decision.
Embrace Your Failures
Most of us love to celebrate our success, retelling our struggles about how much we had to go through to succeed. But our attitude to failure is entirely different. Most of us shy away from failure, trying to quickly forget any time we fail and move on. But what we need to remember is that while success is sweet, failure is the catalyst that will propel us toward success. Failure teaches us so many valuable lessons. Every time you fail, you gain experience.
As clichÃ©d as it might sound, failure really is the stepping stones to success. Founder and CEO of GoPro, Nick Woodman, did not have an easy start in the business world. He failed twice, with two of his startups sinking without a trace. But instead of letting those failures run him down, Nick chose to learn from his experiences. He worked twice as hard to make sure that his next startup, GoPro, succeeded. He was so scared of failing again that he was totally committed to succeeding. His fear of failure is what fueled his drive to succeed. GoPro went on to become a huge success, making him one of the youngest billionaires in the world.
Surround Yourself With Good People
Surround yourself with good people who have a positive outlook in life. Being around negative people or those who constantly criticize and doubt you can take its toll on your confidence. You do not want to be around people like that, people who would stifle your growth and stop you from becoming a better person.
Niklas Zennstrom, founder of Skype strongly believes that surrounding yourself with good people is of paramount importance. According to him, it's more important to have smart people who really believe in what you're doing than really experienced people who may not share your dream.
Build A Nest Egg For The Future
It's never too early to start saving. No matter what you make in your job, you need to make it a point to put away some of it, even if that "˜some' is very little. Building your nest egg will help you in the long run. A little bit saved here and there can make a huge difference to your bank account. Start saving, not tomorrow, not next week, but today.
Learn To Say No
The ability to say no is very crucial for both your personal and professional life. If you don't learn to say no, you will quickly find yourself working on sideline projects that others have no interest in. In order to progress in your career and be taken seriously, you need to learn to put your foot down and say no when needed.
This also applies to your personal life. Unless you learn to be firm and say no, you will soon find out that even friends and family tend to treat you like a pushover.
Warren Buffet, the billionaire business mogul, believes that in order to be a very successful person, one needs to learn to say "˜'no" to almost everything. Realizing that your time is precious and not just giving it away to everyone is the best thing that you can do for yourself. So learn to use your time wisely and efficiently.
Learn To Grab Opportunities
In her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg writes, "There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have."
While having a defined path and following it can be a good thing, there will come times in your life where you will have to grab an opportunity, even if it means going out of your comfort zone. You cannot map out your entire career path. Trying to follow a rigid route and ignoring opportunities that come your way just because they don't fit into your plans will stunt your growth. You need to learn to be an opportunist who makes the most of what life throws your way.