Personal and professional milestones for your 20s
It is important to have hopes, dreams, and goals. And it is equally important to celebrate the victories and milestones along the way. Here’s our list of the top seven things to do in your 20s.
Ah the 20s! The most glorious of all. Nothing screams young, wild, and free like your 20s. You may choose to spend these years partying like there’s no tomorrow. Or you could do everything in moderation. We are a sum total of our choices and experiences. 20s make up the first decade of adulthood and how you spend them may impact your future.
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Milestones are monumental events in one’s journey. For a toddler, taking their first steps is a major milestone. For a teenager, getting their driver’s license is a significant milestone. As an adult, becoming a homeowner or getting a pet could be important milestones. It is almost as if our lives are composed of tiny milestones at every step.
Every human being is unique and so is their path. We’ve kept that in mind while making a list of things to do in your 20s. It is okay to not check off every single one of them. They include both personal and professional accomplishments. Life is full of unexpected surprises and your goals might change over time. What success means to you today may not be what it means to you a few years from now.
Let’s explore the list below:
1. Discovering your passion in life
Of all the things to do in your 20s, this is probably the one that can have the biggest impact. Plenty of people identify their passion at an early age. If you’re among them, you might already know what motivates you. Your passions are what keep you going. They bring you great joy and inspiration. Your passion could be anything that makes you happy. Some are passionate about facts and figures; others are fueled by the desire to help others. There are those that want to make a difference in this world. And there are those that want to acquire wealth and enjoy the comforts money can buy. No matter what your passion is, it is never a bad time to explore them. You may even have multiple passions.
People with an entrepreneurial spirit may even go on to build businesses and monetize their passions. First, you just have to find out what your passion is. Oprah can help you with that. Once you know what you enjoy doing, then you can figure out if it’s worth making it into a full-time career.
2. Choosing a career path
Your career is more than just a paycheck. It should be something you take pride in. It may be closely related to your passions or just be something you’re good at. Do you enjoy interacting with people? You might like a career in customer service or hospitality. If you want to help save lives, you can consider a career in healthcare, law enforcement, or the military. Those that enjoy working with children and youth choose to become daycare workers, teachers, para-educators, counselors etc. Starting your own business could be an exciting venture. Once you’ve made up your mind, the next step would be to get the necessary education and training. If your career requires a college degree, that’s what you need to pursue. Others attend trade school before beginning their career. Some career choices let you enter the workforce after high school.
3. Renting/owning your first place
This is a huge event in one’s life. Renting or owning your first place is a significant life event. It indicates that you’re a responsible adult. Having your own space offers you the opportunity to be your own person, even if you have roommates. Home ownership is one of the biggest goals of many people. Accomplishing it in early life is a commendable feat. Depending on where you live, owning a home in your 20s might actually be possible.
4. Developing new skills
Different skills serve different purposes. Some make your work life easier while others add value to your personal life. For professionals, learning the Microsoft Office suite is a great place to start. Considering how digital the world is today, working knowledge of Zoom, Skype, or other video apps is important. The internet has a plethora of courses on every topic imaginable. Some people choose to learn a new language using apps available online. Others perfect their makeup skills using YouTube as a guide. Find something that speaks to you and try to get better at it.
These skills are perfect for your new career:
5. Finding your tribe
Making friends as an adult can be challenging. If you’re in college, you’re bound to mingle with your peers. Some people go on to build meaningful friendships with coworkers, neighbors, people from the gym etc. It is good to have a support system outside of your family. Besides, think of all the fun and excitement you can experience together. Often in your 20s you find your closest friends. And sometimes you might even meet long-term romantic partners. Several 20-somethings make life altering decisions like getting married or embracing parenthood. The goal here is to connect with like-minded people and continue to grow.
It’s important to learn how to network in your 20s. Not just to find career opportunities, but to meet new people as well.
6. Starting a savings account
Finances and adulthood go hand in hand. You’re probably managing your own money at this stage of your life. You know what your income is and what your expenses are. This is the best time to learn about finances. If you have student loans or a mortgage, be sure to budget your paychecks accordingly. Many people fail to acknowledge how important an emergency fund is. If you set aside even a little money aside every pay period, you will have a nest egg for hard times. This is why we recommend setting up a savings account. If your employer offers a 401k program, it is a smart move to avail it. (There’s a reason it’s one of our top 10 employee benefits.) Or you could look into other retirement options.
7. Learning life hacks
Being a grown-up means taking care of yourself and those around you. It is necessary to learn life hacks like cooking, doing laundry, changing a tire, changing oil etc. These are essential skills everyone should have. You’re not always going to have someone to help you out. There might be situations where you must handle problems by yourself. Learning certain basic hacks can make your life convenient.
Here’s our favorite life hack for your age group: How to say no at work
Ours is not an all-inclusive, set-in-stone type of list. But it could serve as a blueprint for most people. This list can be a practical and relatable guide for most readers. But you could always add more to it or customize it to fit you.
Every person has their own set of goals. Different paths may have different milestones. Some could be very specific. For instance, an entrepreneur’s big milestone might be getting their first client or making their first sale. An academic might consider getting their PhD to be a milestone. Your milestones could be adventures like skydiving, backpacking through Europe, or building houses in the developing world. These are all very impressive goals, and we hope you hit them all.
Few people retain the energy and vigor you have now. Utilize your time and efforts to create the life you want. Of course, there are items on our list that can be attained later in life. You’re never too old to pick a new hobby or to organize your finances. Your 20s give you a head start!
Share this article with the 20-something in your life.
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Anna Reeve, MBA