5 things you should pursue in your 20s instead of money

In your 20s, it’s easy to become fixated on making as much money as possible. While money can be important, there are other things you should prioritize to set yourself up for long-term success (and, in reality, probably more money).

Here are five things you should pursue in your 20s instead of money:

  1. Good management. Research has consistently shown that the quality of your boss is one of the biggest factors in job satisfaction, productivity, and overall career success (especially early in your career). A good boss can serve as a mentor and provide valuable feedback and support, while a bad boss can make your life miserable and hold you back professionally. In fact, a Gallup poll found that 50% of employees have left a job just to get away from a bad manager. A good manager will believe in you, push you professionally, and have your back during opportunities for promotions or career advancement.
  2. An in-demand skill. In today’s rapidly evolving job market, having a skill that is in high demand can make all the difference when it comes to finding a job, getting promoted, and earning a higher salary. Pick something and do a deep dive. For example, thousands of colleges and universities across the country are now using Slate for their primary CRM. If you spent 2 years to become proficient in Slate, colleges would be begging you to come work for them. Spend you time learning something valuable that is in demand!
  3. A strong professional network. More than ever, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Building a strong professional network can open doors to new opportunities, provide valuable advice and support, and help you stay on top of industry trends and developments. In fact, a LinkedIn study found that 85% of jobs are filled through networking, often outside the traditional application process.
  4. Personal health/fitness. Your health is your most valuable asset, and neglecting it can have serious consequences down the road. Prioritizing your physical and mental health early in your career can not only improve your quality of life but also make you more productive and focused on the job. Plus, developing healthy habits now can set you up for a lifetime of good health.
  5. A strong work ethic. Finally, developing a strong work ethic early in your career can pay dividends down the road. Employers value employees who are dependable, hardworking, and dedicated to their jobs. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), work ethic is the second most important trait that employers look for when hiring recent college graduates. The good thing is, you can work on your work ethic regardless of whether you like your job or not. So it’s a choice in every season!

While money is undoubtedly important, it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your 20s. In fact, prioritizing money over these other important factors can have negative consequences down the road. For example, working long hours and neglecting your health can lead to burnout and health problems later in life. Focusing solely on salary can also lead you to take a job that isn’t a good fit, which can ultimately hurt your career in the long run.

Imagine finishing your 20s in amazing shape, having incredible bosses (and advocates), a strong professional network, a highly sought-after skill, and a killer work ethic. Who wouldn’t want to hire you?

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