10 Commandments of a Successful Young Professional 10 Career Rules Young Professionals Should Abide By
August 6, 2017
I like to see a young girl go and grab the world by the lapels. Life is a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass. – Maya Angelou
The best thing about being young is being able to find yourself through self-discovery–a period of stumbling your way into the real world to gain new life experiences, take risks, make mistakes, build life-long friendships, and find your passion. Then, there is the period of getting ready for the real, REAL world and start your new professional career.
Transitioning into the corporate world after college can be an intimidating yet exciting experience. It is important to understand that when entering into your new career as a young professional or becoming your own boss that you have to realize there are must-have habits to establish when striving for greatness. You want to make sure you’re doing all the right things to get a head start in your career. It definitely takes time but it would be oh so worth it once you see all the set goals you accomplished. The following are the ten commandments most successful young professionals should abide by.
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1. Thou Shalt Volunteer
Volunteering is about all giving back, but it generates the freedom to learn more about yourself outside of work. It provides tremendous opportunities to meet new people while improving the quality of your community. So take action by being part of something that’s bigger than you. Educate yourself about the current issues happening at your local community. Place yourself as a forerunner of a nonprofit organization and make a name for yourself.
2. Thou Shalt Network
Network equals net worth. Building and maximizing business relationships raise you at a higher level of success than by just doing it on your own. Networking contributes to a lot of people’s self-made success by connecting with powerful and influential people. Networking is a great source for like-minded individuals to exchange their point of views and ideas related to your profession or business. People who share the same values and interests tend to support your career endeavors. So surround yourself with passionate people and focus on making those connections. Check out this link for some great networking advice.
3. Thou Shalt Keep a Small Group of Friends
You want to be surrounded by people who generally care and support your dreams. The number of friends who ACTUALLY support you will probably be extremely small; you can physically count them on your hands. Those are the people who matter.
Don’t invest your time into people who don’t want to see you grow. Having a large group of friends can be draining sometimes and they won’t comprehend what you have going for yourself. How does the saying go…I rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies?
4. Thou Shalt Learn
It’s very cliché to say this, but knowledge is power. And the workplace is rapidly evolving. That’s why it’s so important to stay relevant with the latest industry topics with your employer and competition. Make it a habit to learn about the newest technology so you can set yourself apart from others. Enroll in an online course or a workshop to gain a new skill and use it for business or work (I smell promotion…). Share your knowledge and recommendations to your colleagues and peers. Ask your supervisor SMART questions so he or she can see your dedication. Receive constant feedback and evaluations from your boss so you know what things you need to get better at. Build on your reading collection. Cultivate on your craft and turn into a business. Opportunities will start to flourish your way.
5. Thou Shalt Find Mentor(s)
You will need to have someone who you can build a productive relationship with outside of work. The best mentors are usually people who are experts in their field of work. You want someone at a much higher experienced level (I say an executive or a successful entrepreneur) who can offer their wisdom and share personal experiences to help advance your career. Find someone who can fight for you, invest the time, see you excel, and exert that tough love at the same time.
6. Thou Shalt Invest (and Be Frugal)
It’s important to understand personal finances and how to be financially healthy long-term. Educate yourself or talk to a financial advisor (that has your best interest of course) about financial wealth. We cannot reach to greatness if we’re spending frivolously on materialistic things that probably won’t last long at all or continuing to add more on to our debt.
Please, put the credit card down. Don’t take on any more debt. Live within your means. Invest more into your business. If you want to retire at a certain age or with a certain amount of money, build a financial plan early.
7. Thou Shalt Not Take Any Shortcuts
You have to understand that success takes time which requires some patience. Believe me, I’m still trying to figure out this whole blogging business. There’s no such thing as an easy route. A great journey to success is never easy. If that was the case, I would be a millionaire, on a yacht somewhere cruising on a private island.
If you want to achieve your life-long dreams, get ready for the struggle. Trust me, adversity will be waiting for you to mess up. It can be tempting to cut corners as an easy way out but understand that’s going to bite you in the long run. Taking shortcuts lead to bad habits which can undermine your ultimate goal to success. Do the work and let the opportunities come your way.
8. Thou Shalt Not Be Average
When I listened to Kahlana Barfield-Brown’s Cinderella story on Myleik Teele’s MyTaughtYou podcast, I was amazed by her crazy work ethics. As an underpaid general assistant in NYC for a fashion magazine, she came into work at 7am when the work office starts at 10am. Now, she’s the Fashion and Beauty Editor-At-Large at InStyle Magazine. Now that’s drive.
If you just want to be content where you are, you will never earn the things you want in life. You have to step out of your comfort zone and work harder, even if that means adding in those extra hours. Take a risk by initiating a leadership role at work. Speak up. If you deserve a salary increase, provide quantifiable reasons why you should get a raise. Put yourself in the position to discuss an upcoming promotion. Dress for the position. Don’t let people set predictable expectations about you. Overproduce those expectations. Make the impression as well as inspire others along the way.
9. Thou Shalt Find True Passion
Life is all about living. I can’t see myself working full-time for two or three decades and just dread the thought of waking up five minutes before my alarm clock goes off. You should aim for your full-time passion even if that means taking small steps. Hey, it takes patience and persistence right? Be smart and strategic about it too. Don’t just say you want to be an actress and spontaneously leave your hometown for the city of angels and have not taken one acting class.
But trust me there will be haters and people who won’t support your talent (preach!). Sometimes that negative energy can lead you into believing you are not capable of turning your dreams into reality. Stick to your passion, stay focus, and continue to kick a** at it. Put in the grind even if that means making sacrifices along the way. Those so-called haters will turn into fans.
10. Thou Shalt Slay
Slay trick or get eliminated! Be true to yourself and remember no one can be like you. We are all unique. Don’t compare yourself to others and slay in your own lane. Kill others with kindness and always be at your best. Embrace your strengths and your flaws and walk like the boss that you truly are. Own it and you will find yourself in the promise land.
So, what do you think? Are there any other habits young professionals should consider to be successful? Please be sure to comment below.
Featured image is @simplycyn