I’m Turning 30—Here’s All The Career and Finance Advice I’ve Picked Up Along the Way
As I approach the big 3-0, I’ve been reflecting on all the life lessons I’ve learned over the past decade. From personal experience, I can assure you that career and finance skills are some of the most important skills you’ll need to learn in your twenties. So, without further ado, here are my top 30 pieces of finance and career advice, in no particular order:
Create a budget and check on it regularly.
This is important because budgets need regular maintenance to survive and thrive, just like houseplants.
Make sure your finances are in a good spot before setting up automatic withdrawals for things like savings and payments.
Automation is great but ensure your finances are in order to avoid insufficient funds notifications from your bank.
Avoid always buying drinks or picking up the tab for your friends as it can add up quickly.
If you love to treat others, make sure you balance it with treating yourself to avoid digging a financial hole.
There are a lot of dupes for high-end items that are so much better for your wallet.
Research and try out alternatives before going ahead with purchasing expensive items.
Never burn bridges in your career if you can help it, no matter how toxic of an environment it was.
Your past experiences at work can affect your future job prospects. So always try to keep things professional.
If an opportunity arises, always negotiate, especially your salary.
Extra money compounds over time and sets you up for a better financial future.
Take the time to nurture your industry connections on a regular basis.
Don’t only reach out when you need something. Offer help, appreciate and value your industry connections.
If someone asks to pick your brain about your profession, be kind.
It only takes a few minutes to send a quick reply or set up a coffee chat and can make all the difference to someone.
Before making a purchase, do some research to see if there is a cheaper version available.
You might end up discovering that the cheaper option is better than the more expensive one.
Don’t hang your self-worth on your salary, the amount in your bank account, or any material objects.
Instead, focus on what you can bring to the table as a person and professional.
Set boundaries at work early and communicate them to your peers.
Make potential conflicts known and make an issue about them in the early stages.
Take your vacation time and rejuvenate.
Never let your PTO go unused. Your health can immensely benefit from a well-deserved break from work.
Putting in extra hours for a promotion or a deadline is great, however, make sure you take some time to rest when you need to.
Work-life balance is just as important as work performance.
Dress a bit nicer than you think you need to for work.
This can help you feel more professional, even when you’re not quite feeling it.
Take some time off to figure out a career that makes you happy.
You don’t always have to know what you want, but it’s important to take time to think about what you truly want out of your professional life.
Figure out what you value spending money on and make sure to budget for it appropriately.
Don’t feel guilty about prioritizing what you love over what society tells you that you should love.
Find a budgeting system that works for you.
There are plenty of different methods out there – don’t be discouraged if the first one you try doesn’t work for you.
Create tangible financial targets and track their progress.
Set specific financial goals and track your progress regularly to stay motivated.
Invest your money early, and don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk.
Compounding interest and smart investments can lead to long-term financial benefits.
Seek new opportunities to learn and advance in your career.
Stay on top of new industry trends, regulations and policies that could improve your professional CV.
Be prepared to learn continuously.
Learning something new about your profession every day can make you a valuable contributor to a team and a marketable employee.
Always actively look for opportunities to network and build meaningful professional relationships.
Networking is more than just handing out business cards and resumes. It’s about building genuine professional relationships that can benefit everyone involved.
Trust your intuition and take chances when they come along.
Pursue a career opportunity that excites you, even if it requires a leap of faith, because sometimes taking risks pays off.
In 2020, the average cost of a wedding in the United States was over $28,000 USD.
About 20% of Americans don’t have savings for emergencies.
More than half of millennials have a side hustle to increase their income.
Women tend to save lesser for retirement compared to men. The gender pay gap is one of the reasons behind this.
Some of the major takeaways from my experience are:
- Create and stick to a budget that works for you
- Negotiate everything, especially your salary
- Invest early and seek new learning opportunities
- Build positive Professional relationships and Networking is Key
- Find a work-life balance and don’t compromise it
As daunting as it may seem, thirty is just a number, and it’s a great time to reflect on everything you’ve learned so far. Everyone has a different experience and set of challenges, but with the right mindset and approach, planning your finances, and investing in your career can help set the stage for an exciting and fulfilling future.