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Every 20-Something, Be Careful! 7 Beliefs Held By You Aren’t True

Every 20-Something, Be Careful! 7 Beliefs Held By You Aren’t True

Now that I’m about a month and a half into my thirties, I I truly feel like I know everything there is to know about life.

Okay, that’s not true in the slightest. Ironically, as I get older, I realize I know much less about the world than I thought I did the previous year. While a person’s twenties are full of “firsts” in the adult world, there’s still so much to learn about the world, and life in general. If I could go back to my 19-year-old self and prepare him for what’s to come, I would have started by letting him know the following notions simply are not true:

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1. Everyone has to like you

Maybe it comes from a youthful sense of entitlement, but many 20-somethings feel as if everyone has to like them. Which is incredibly ironic, because they just graduated from high school a few years ago, a place and time in which nobody really liked anybody. All kidding aside, if you live your life trying to please everyone and make them approve of you, you’ll drive yourself nuts. It might be hard to believe, but some people might actually not like you. But that’s okay. The only thing you can do about it is be as nice as you can to everyone you meet. If someone treats you like garbage in spite of all the nice things you’ve done for them, that’s only a reflection on them. If you react negatively to their detrimental behavior, that’s on you.

2. Your mistakes will ruin you

Life in general is just one learning experience after another. Everybody makes mistakes. Making a mistake in life is okay, as long as you learn from it and improve upon yourself. If you continue to make the same mistake time and again, they stop being mistakes, and start defining who you are. The saying goes, “It’s never too late to change.” While that is true, there are consequences that come with waiting too long. If you find you’ve started to stray from the path you know you should be on, make the adjustments right away before it becomes to difficult to right the wrongs you’ve made in life.

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3. Good college grades will lead to success

Here’s a joke for you: What do you call the person who finished last in med school? Doctor! When you get into the real world, nobody will care that you had the highest GPA in your graduating class. Your employers will only care about how you plan on putting your knowledge into action in order to help their company. I’m not saying you shouldn’t focus on your studies in college; I’m saying you should focus on actually learning and not just “making the grade.” Once you’re out of school, those letters on your transcript become meaningless. Your work, networking, and life skills are what will get you far in life.

4. Getting rejected after a job interview means you failed

Not getting a call back after an interview can be incredibly disheartening. You spent so much time researching the company, the position you were interviewing for, and the questions you knew they’d ask. You thought you nailed it. But you didn’t even make it past the initial round of callbacks. It hurts. But it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough for the job, or that you’re a complete failure. Look at the interview as a learning experience. Think of the times you weren’t sure of an answer, or ways you could have been better prepared to begin with. Keep these shortcomings in mind and focus on strengthening them the next time you get invited in for an interview. Also, be sure to keep yourself on the radar of any company that passed you over; you never know when another position will open up and you’ll get a second shot.

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5. Your health can wait

When you’re young, you feel like you can skip the healthy breakfasts, stay out all night partying, and hit the gym only when the mood strikes you. As you get older, you’ll see these decisions catching up with you almost immediately. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle today reduces your risk of serious illness and disease later in life. You should start a healthy gym routine in your twenties, and carry it with you throughout the rest of your life. Living healthy at forty will be a lot easier if you’ve been living healthy for the past twenty years. Getting healthy when your forty is a whole different story.

6. You need to know what you want to do with your life

Most adults I know have had at least two different long-term careers since their twenties. With the world constantly evolving as it is, experts say this trend will continue to the point that some of us will change careers every decade or so. And really, what’s wrong with that? I’m definitely not the same person I was ten years ago. At 21, I didn’t have a wife, still lived at home while working and going to school, and thought I would be on a completely different path than I’m on now. At 30, my main focus is on starting a family. My career is no longer the main focus of my life, and I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s okay to switch it up if you’re unhappy. As Led Zeppelin famously said, “There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

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7. You need to be in complete control in your life

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a five-year plan, or should just drift through life without a care in the world. But you can’t control everything. Things will happen that will derail your plans, and when they do you’ll either have to get back on track, or start down a new path. Learn to be okay with such organized chaos. Be flexible when plans change. It’s the people who shut down when things go wrong that fall short of being where they want to be. Trust yourself that you can navigate your life to the best of your ability, along the smooth roads and the bumpy.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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