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30 Things I Realized About Life Before Turning 30

30 Things I Realized About Life Before Turning 30

Where does the time go??? The dreaded 30 is just around the corner beckoning at me but instead of looking back and wondering what I could have done, should have done or shouldn’t have done, I choose to celebrate it. I think we take life for granted these days and we dread getting older. Getting older should be a celebration of how far we have come, the achievements we have made and the experiences we have had along the way. We can all agree we are better for it.

There are a few things I have learned on this journey of my life and I put together a list of things that I have come to realize are true and have stood the test of time. Turning 30 does not have to be a dreadful experience it can be an introspective one where you can look back and appreciate the person you have become. So take the leap with me.

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  1. Don’t settle. If it doesn’t make you happy don’t even try. You will end up wasting time that you could have been spending with someone else.
  2. Family comes first. Whether it’s you first family or your second family,  put these people first. They will always have your back.
  3. Friends are more precious than gold. A good friend is priceless. You can have all the things in the world but without people to enjoy them with it can get pretty lonely. You will need good friends more as you get older.
  4. A good reputation is worth everything. People may not like you but they will respect you and from where I’m standing respect gets doors opened for you.
  5. Find something greater than yourself to believe in. No revolution has ever been started without a belief in something greater than ourselves. Whether it is a god or belief system, just find something that centers and grounds you.
  6. Being debt-free is the best thing you could do for yourself. So savor those ramen noodles if you need to but get out of useless debt. If you are not debt-free yet, now is the time to work toward your goal.
  7. Travel when you can. Those are some of the best memories you will have and they make for such great conversation.
  8. Drop your prejudices. You are now old enough to form your own opinions about people without your parent’s influence. The world is such a better place without angry people.
  9. The important decisions don’t have to be made on the fly. Weigh your options, ask for advice and make sound decisions for things that will have a long-term impact on your life.
  10. Create a filter for your thoughts. You can’t allow everything you see or hear to influence you. In the same way, you have to know which things to let in and which ones to discard.
  11. Learn to love your own company. Some people are so afraid to be by themselves but sometimes you need to be alone to truly find yourself.
  12. Invest in your future. Maximize your 401K contribution, have an IRA, or another type of investment. Whichever avenue you choose just invest in your future unless you want to work forever.
  13. Make a change if you don’t like your job. If you don’t like what you do for a living now would be the time to make that change.
  14. Have one person in your life who will tell it like it is. We all need a reality check once in a while, we also need a voice of reason.
  15. Take care of your health. Exercise often and stay fit. See your doctor for that annual check up, you pay insurance after all USE it. Take care of your teeth. I can’t imagine having to wear dentures so visit your dentist at least two times a year.
  16. Spend your money wisely. Spend it on things that you need. Don’t be the type of person that has to have the latest model of everything. Is it really necessary? In that same line of thinking make sure you have a few nice things. You only have one life to live and this is no rehearsal so don’t save the best for last. You might not be around to enjoy it.
  17. People’s opinions are just that, opinions. As I said above have a filter for the things you let it and people’s opinions should not change who you are.
  18. Life isn’t fair, it just isn’t. Some people will always have more than you have and they’ll have better things. Teach yourself to be content with what you have. You will be so much happier for it.
  19. Be grateful for what you have. Nothing more to say just take a moment and just be grateful. Think of that song.
  20. Learn to let things go. Don’t hold on to your anger and to grudges. Anger and hatred are consuming and not in a good way. They eat at you and make you a version of you that is not pleasant. Forgive and move on.
  21. Never pay full price for anything. This is a fun one but I don’t ever pay full price for anything unless I can’t help it. I am not a couponer but I have bought $300 suits for less than $50 so…I definitely hate paying full price!
  22. Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else is.
  23. Learn from your experiences good and bad. Don’t repeat the mistakes you made in your twenties over and over again. There is a name for that – foolishness. If something worked the first time then there is no point trying to re-invent the wheel keep doing what you are doing if its working.
  24. Don’t make decisions when you are angry. I have made big mistakes when I have made decisions when I wasn’t in a reasonable state of mind.
  25. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve. I learned this from experience. If you think you deserve a bigger raise than what is offered, make sure you say it. The worst that could happen is they say no BUT they could say yes.
  26. You can’t make everyone happy so stop trying too hard. There are people who will never appreciate you as you are. You are not perfect so quit trying.
  27. Time is your greatest asset. It is the one thing you will never have more of. Your days are numbered, remember? So make the best of the time that you have.
  28. Be kind to people. Extend yourself even when you don’t want to. It will make you feel so much better. I promise.
  29. Know who you are and don’t let people try to define you. If you stand firmly in what you believe people learn to respect you. It doesn’t matter how trivial it may seem, when you stand for something you won’t fall for anything.
  30. NO is a full sentence. You don’t need to qualify it or explain yourself. If you don’t want to do something or whatever the case may be just say NO and leave it at that.

Featured photo credit: Long Road/paraflyer via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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