Our 20s are a time to experiment. It’s a decade to test the waters and see what feels right, and when thinking about jobs, things are no different. We’re heading into the real-world workplace and have the opportunity to build our careers. It’s exciting and also slightly daunting, right? But the best thing about being a 20-something when it comes to your career is, the path is flexible. There are certain things we just don’t have to stress about yet. Here are 5 things not to worry about in your career in your 20s:
Sure, having “manager” next to your name or some other fancy word feels good, but titles aren’t always the truest indicators of salary or responsibilities. Focus on the details behind the title. If you’re happy with those, don’t throw a fit over the name of your role. You may even come to find that roles without heavy titles are the best.
Staying in the same field
There’s a lot of pressure in college to choose a major or degree that you want to spend your career doing. And there’s a lot of stress about finding a job that correlates with your skills. The thing is, you can easily bounce around in your 20s to see how different roles and fields feel to you—no matter your degree or resume. You can’t necessarily do this your whole career, but that’s exactly what your 20s are for.
How “cool” the company is
Living in the Bay Area, I hear of the insane perks that come with companies like Facebook, Pinterest, and Google. It can start to feel like a normal company isn’t cool enough. But before chasing a popular company, think back about your actual role and happiness. If you’re enjoying where you’re at, settle with the smaller, less-known company. The grass isn’t always greener!
Being BFFs with coworkers
My first job out of college, I became friends with everyone I worked with. We’d go out after work and I even spent some weekend time with them. Then layoffs and drama happened and it was hard to draw the line between coworker and friend. Being pleasant to the people you work with is crucial, but don’t feel like you need to attend every Happy Hour or know all the office gossip. Your main priority is your job.
Like I said before, this is your time to experiment! You want to make enough money to pay bills and save a little, but if a job that you’re pumped about is offering less than something you’re not pumped about, take the pay cut. Learn to manage your finances and create a budget—make the money work. Your salary will eventually increase. This may be the only time in life we can afford to not worry about a mortgage or other financial responsibilities that come with age.
Have fun testing the field!