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What People Should Stop Doing When They Turn 30

What People Should Stop Doing When They Turn 30

When I was just about to turn 30, I had a few choices to make. I could have gone on teaching and eating out every night in Naples. But my career was knocking at the door and I started to get serious about it. I decided to start studying for a new qualification and then taking two years out to do a Masters’ degree. I missed all the fun times and the seductive Neapolitan lifestyle. But these were short lived regrets as I saw my career advance.

Nothing is written in stone about what you should stop doing once you turn 30. But it is usually around then that life, relationships and career start muscling their way into your life.

You also have the added complication of whether to start a family and what sort of relationship could help you fulfil that ambition. Does parenting really appeal to you?

Here are 15 things people should stop doing now to make their future more secure and tranquil.

1. Stop spending money extravagantly

You have to start thinking about a pension which you might need just 30 years from now. If you are lucky, you can get good financial advice about pension funds or figure it out yourself by investing wisely. This will give you financial security to help you buy property later on.

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2. Stop dithering about job or career moves

The best thing to do is to start getting rid of mismatches and gaps in your resume. Stress the fact that your best talents and skills set can be leveraged to fit the demands of a new job or career. In this way, you are displaying how proactive you can be.

3. Stop using social media so much

Time to get real and start making some valuable connections out there. That means using social media less and less. It also means that you should be aiming to network outside your organization. If you are an introvert, this may be a bit daunting.

Susan Cain in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has some good advice. There is no need to take the standard extrovert as the norm. You should be trying to make more meaningful and deeper contacts so it really is worthwhile getting to know people at more than a superficial level.

4. Stop posting silly things on Facebook

Yes, employers do check your social media profiles so if you are really serious about a career, delete all those photos of you having a great time. Post some really professional stuff such as you networking at a conference.

5. Stop thinking about your past failures

Maybe a relationship went all wrong or you did not get the dream job you wanted. Most psychologists agree that too much ruminating and blaming yourself for past errors can have lasting negative effects. If these regrets are keeping you from getting on with life and planning your future, then it really is time to stop.

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6. Stop texting while driving

Not that all the people who do this are under 30! I daydream about fixing an anti-phone device in each car. Problem solved and people start driving responsibly. But if you cannot control a texting addiction at this age, then it is time to think about this.

7. Stop sleeping in at weekends

Maybe you think that you can recover your lost sleep at the weekend. You need to, because of all that hard work and late night partying during the week. Scientists have shown that this recovery sleep is not going to fix all the problems and the long term effects are unknown. Much better to start getting more regular sleep. That will leave you much more time to do something fun and productive at the weekend.

8. Stop having hangovers

What a waste of time! You feel lousy for days afterwards and you cannot even get going on work, leisure and all the other things that make life worthwhile. If you cannot get out of that social whirl, you can easily prevent and cure a hangover. How? Just by drinking plenty of water, before, during and afterwards. Water will keep you from getting dehydrated. This is the main cause of a hangover.

9. Stop having toxic friendships

Time to have a good clear out of people who are simply poisoning you with their toxicity. Maybe you have been too lazy to do that up to now. But if a friend is always criticizing you, taking advantage of your kindness, or just not being reliable, then you have to cut them off.

Remember that real friendships are like gold. They have to be long-lasting and keep their value. If they do not, then it is time to move on.

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10.  Stop making excuses about your workouts

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

These excuses about skipping your gym class or workout are now getting a bit thin as you turn 30. Time to concentrate on getting results, enjoying yourself and measuring your progress. The excuses will soon start to fade away as you get more motivated.

11. Stop eating fast food

I had to start to learn to cook as I was getting embarrassed about all the dinner invitations I was receiving. I never bothered in my twenties and I was just plain lazy. The number of pizzas I ate must be a record. Once I started to learn how to cook, my life, health, and social standing all changed dramatically. Yes, I had to study and try things out. Living in Italy was an enormous advantage but also an enormous challenge. Italians know a lot about good food!

12. Stop closing your mind to certain beliefs and ideas

 “Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out”. – Carl Sagan

Learning about new ideas and exploring the world are great ways of challenging the preconceptions we sometimes latch on to in our twenties. The best way of doing this is to travel and have a great time. Try out new things and judge them as objectively as you can.

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13. Stop driving recklessly

Last weekend, a 22 year old Italian driver lost control of his car at a roundabout. The car ploughed into a group of guys who were having a drink at a nearby bar. Four of them were killed, including the driver’s own brother!

It is never too early to start driving responsibly and making sure that you are not over the alcohol limit.

14. Stop playing Wii and video games all the time

These games are great to help you pass the time when you have to wait for public transport. But if this is your favourite pastime at home where you become a games slave, then there must be something wrong.

15. Stop adding new tattoos

You might well be embarrassed when you have to hide certain tattoos at your workplace when the company culture is pretty strict about these things. Nothing wrong in having a few inked spots but when you have to explain new ones after 30, this may make you feel uncomfortable.

Let us know what things you stopped doing when you turned 30. What were the benefits or drawbacks?

Featured photo credit: Texting while driving/Intel Free Press via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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