20 Career Tips Every Young Professional Need to Know

Published on 20 Apr 2022 . 1 min read

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Are you looking for top tips for career development? Here is a curated list of some of the best career tips for young professionals. 

As young professionals, we are always curious and apprehensive about what the future holds for us. Starting a career is always an exciting time filled with opportunities. If you are 20-something, the below pieces of advice will help you find the right career course for you and set you on the path to success. 

20 Career Tips For Every Young Professional

#1. The Secret To Getting Ahead Is Getting Started

Remember, you have to start somewhere to get somewhere. It's always best to narrow down a few career opportunities and align yourself accordingly in a particular direction. 

Choosing which career is right for you and what you want to do early in your career will help you grow as a professional.

Go for various possibilities; try out a few options before making the final plunge. It's important to enjoy what you do so that you don't regret it later in your career.

#2. Develop A Career Plan

When you are just about to start your professional journey, a little career planning increases your chances of success later in life. But how exactly should you go about planning your career? Which career plan will help you reach your career goals as a young professional?

These questions might make your mind wander when you are just about to start your professional journey.

Remember, there isn't a linear path to career planning. Start mapping your career by making a short-term plan. Start with where you want to be in the next five years and then work back, step by step. Identify your goals and start working towards them. Know exactly how you want to go about it- What skill sets do you want to acquire? What do you like to learn more

Developing a career plan will make you ambitious and help you realize that there are steps you need to take NOW to be on schedule. Take free career counselling online and map a clear vision for yourself. 

#3. Invest In Yourself And Expand Your Skill Sets

Never, ever stop learning. To stay relevant in your industry, always try acquiring new additional skills. Be future-ready!

Enrol yourself on professional certification programs and earn additional degrees. As a young professional, you need to strengthen your hard skills and work on your soft skills.

Undertaking these professional courses doesn't cost you much and opens up additional opportunities. 

#4. Do Things That Scares You

It can be terrifying to come out of your comfort zone and try something new. But you should always be open to trying out new things if you want to succeed as a young professional.

If given the opportunity, take on a new project or try out a new skill. Good things always come to those who ask for them. Never shy away from seeking out short term assignments within the company, and it will help you gain new insights and experiences and help develop relevant connections.

At times, there may be chances of failure, but it will always bring something fresh and enriching to your life. Be open to changes if you want to move forward.

#5. Go By Your Rules, Make Your Own Decisions

Do not follow a pre-set template to succeed. Make your own rules and build your ladder of success.

Decision-making is one of the essential skills a young professional must possess. Everyone might have an opinion about what you should do with your career, but it's always advisable to make your own decisions.

Be open to feedback and bits of advice but do not follow them blindly.

#6. Be Fearless And Have The Confidence To Stand Out

Remember, being young doesn't make you dumb. As a young worker, you might not be as experienced and seasoned as your colleagues, but you may bring many fresh ideas to the table.

Do not lose any opportunity to present your ideas. Be confident, and do not be afraid to speak up when having your opinions heard. 

Be ready to step outside your comfort zone and do things that challenge you.

#7. Find Your Why And You Will Find Your Way

Look up to someone you admire and have a professional idol who inspires you. Finding a person who has the life and job you want will always help you reach your professional goals.

Connect with your idol, drop them an email or ask them if you can sit with them during meetings and calls. Offer to help them out on projects and always be willing to devote extra time. Putting in the extra effort will always help you earn some brownie points later in life.

Carve out a new path for yourself from the example of someone else.

#8. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

Surrounding yourself with friends and colleagues who have similar goals acts as a catalyst. Isolation from peers could be detrimental to success and can even bring stagnation.

Being surrounded by like-minded professionals could lead to exchanging ideas and recommendations. These productive dialogues could motivate and empower you to move closer to your professional goals and provide the necessary emotional support when needed.

#9. Take Active Feedback and Evaluate Your Work

Be open to suggestions and feedback. Actively seek feedback and ask for areas of improvement from your managers and peers. Be open to criticism and learn from your mistakes.

Also, keep evaluating your work. Do not wait until the yearly reviews to know what you've achieved. Access yourself by setting short-term goals.

#10. Go For Mentorship Programs

As a young professional, having a mentor by your side will push you in the right direction if you want to make a mark. Having someone by your side who is ready to take a bet on you and provide meaningful insights for growth can be overwhelming.

You can choose a mentor from your current company or look for mentorship programs. Mentorship programs are a great tool to take your career in the right direction and help you polish your professional traits.

#11. Value Your Time

Time is money, and managing your time has become a superpower.

Learning about the basics of time management skills before you turn 30 will help you become more productive at work and help you grow as a professional.

Managing your time and putting it to best use is essential to improving your hireability.

#12. Being Self-Aware

Self-awareness will help you see where you're heading and allow you to know your strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing and embracing those areas will encourage development and let you proceed in the right direction.

Being honest with yourself is the key to growth and one of the critical skills for both personal and professional development.

#13. Make Good Relationships At Work

Establishing a professional relationship is as essential as maintaining social etiquette. Always be willing to go the extra mile for the people you work with; it's give-and-take.

Cultivating a healthy bond with your co-workers or being connected to them might open new doors for success in future.

#14. Expand Your Network to Unlock New Career Opportunities

Be a people person; surround yourself with individuals you enjoy being around on the job. Learn from them!

Also, work on expanding your external network. Connect with professionals on networking sites and reach out to contacts that work in the same industry. Expand your reach and fill those gaps strategically to keep advancing your career.

#15. Ask For Help When Needed

As young professionals, we're always trying to prove ourselves and are shy to ask for help. But remember, asking for help doesn't make you weak, and it's a sign of self-awareness and not a weakness.

Asking for help may make you anxious, but learning when to ask for help may help you advance in your career. So, when in doubt, be open to asking for assistance and save yourself and others time rather than pushing it through it on your own.

#16. Be Nice But Learn To Say No

Learning how to say 'No' is as important as saying 'Yes' to new and exciting things. Set boundaries and know your limitations to keep progressing in your career.

As someone just starting a career, we think that being pleasant and cooperative is what gets you praise. But, the trick is to drop the guilt and avoid setting unrealistic standards. Work hard and learn to say 'No' when required for your mental well-being. 

#17. Work On Your Soft Skills

Soft skills are interpersonal skills, attributes and abilities that make a person worthy and influential in working with others. Soft skills are often not taught but can be learned or acquired with experience.

Firms these days like to jump off the resume and get into a real-life conversation with a candidate. Communication, adaptability, teamwork, and emotional intelligence are a few soft skills that every young professional must have.

#18. Main A Work-Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

As a young professional, you might be slightly lower down the corporate ladder, but that doesn't mean you spend more than the required time at the workplace. Every individual deserves a balance, and a never-ending workday may damage your overall health and even hurt relationships.

So, unplug, let go of perfectionism, re-structure your routine, exercise and meditate. Finding the right work-life balance will make you feel good in the long run.

#19. Do Not Be Miserable- Change What Doesn't Work

The first few years of your career are about figuring out what you like and don't. Ask yourself which type of project excites you and which doesn't? Do you enjoy working in a team, or would you like to be an individual contributor? 

Be true to yourself and if you don't like something, get up and do something about it. Do not feel miserable. Narrow down your list, which will help you find your true calling.

#20. Practice Gratitude and Speak Positively to Yourself

Get bitten by the gratitude bug early in your life, both with yourself and others. Always look out for opportunities to thank people who made time to share some knowledge, helped you succeed or even interviewed you.

Also, be positive because negative self-speaking might turn you into your own worst enemy. 

So, here is our list of recommended career tips for young professionals. What advice would you like to give to someone just starting their career? Do pour in your ideas to help the young talents proceed towards big things!

If you need help with your career and are looking to enrol on a new course online or would like to take a free career assessment test, join the Glow & Lovely Career Community on SHEROES.

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Vandana Das
Vandana is a full-time writer, blogger and content strategist. She loves travelling and making doodles and comic strips.

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