Your 20s can be an interesting period. If you are like most Americans, you start your 20s when you are in college. Most people finish college when they are 22 years. After this, most Americans start their careers while others take the risky journey of starting their businesses. Your 20s are a delicate period because this is where you lay a foundation of your career. In this article, we will explain everything you need to do before you turn 30.
Invest in Education
When you are in your 20s, you have a lot of free time and limited responsibilities. This is because you don’t have a family to take care of. Therefore, we recommend that you dedicate your early 20s to get better education. This is because the level of education you decide to take will help you determine the amount of money you make when you get employed. Data from the Census Bureau show that people without a high school diploma make the least amount of money when they are in employment. The median salary of a person without a high school diploma is about $450. This rises to $650 to those with a high school diploma, to $1137 to those with a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, you should do the best to ensure that you have better academic papers.
However, a degree itself is not enough. You need to ensure that you are learning a good course that is marketable. Some of the courses you decide to take will not pay you a lot of money. For example, some of the worst-paying jobs in the country are drama, fine arts, hospitality and tourism, and education. Instead, you should focus on high-paying jobs like law, computer science, and engineering.
Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.” —Paul Clitheroe
Education is a great thing for your future career objectives. Equally important is a relevant experience. In your 20s, you should do the best to gain a lot of experience in the discipline you have decided to take. For example, if you want to be a money manager or investment banker, you need to gain some experience in the industry. This is because you will not get a good job if you don’t showcase what you can do. You can do this in several ways.
- Apply for internship at a credible organization.
- Volunteer at these organizations.
- Get a second job.
- Be a freelancer in this industry.
When you have all this experience, it will help you get a good-paying job by the time you turn 30. This experience will help you boost your resume and increase your employability chances.
Start a Company
If you believe that you are destined to be an entrepreneur, the best time for you to do it is when you are in your 20s. Indeed, most companies that we know about today were started by people in the 20s. For example, Aaron Levie started Box when he was 20 years old. Drew Houston started Dropbox when he was 24 years old. Katrina Lake started Stitch Fix when she was 27 years old. In fact, more than 80% of all companies in the Fortune 500 were started by people who were below 30.
Starting a company early in life is beneficial for several reasons. First, you will have a long runway to success compared to when you start it in your later years. Second, since the chances of failure are high, you will be better off if the company fails. If it does, you will be at a good position to move on to something else. Third, you will have more chances of raising money from venture capitalists.
Saving For Retirement
A common mistake many people do is that they wait until they are 30 and 40 to start saving for retirement. This is wrong. Indeed, the best time to start saving for retirement is when you are in your early 20s or when you land your first job. The reason for this is simple. The earlier you start, the more money will you have when you retire. For example, if you are 20 years old and you start saving $100 per month, you will have more than $48,000 – without interest – when you retire at 60 years. On the other hand, if you start saving the same $100 when you are 30 years, you will have $36000. Therefore, the earlier you start saving, the better it will be for you.
A good strategy to follow is to have more than one source of income. If you have a 9-5 job, we recommend that you start doing some things that will give you additional income. For example, you can opt to carry someone in your car when you are going to work for a fee. You can also be a part time content writer, blogger, or graphic designer. In fact, there are people who never touch their salaries because their side hustles pays the bills.
In the long run, it’s not just how much money you make that will determine your future prosperity. It’s how much of that money you put to work by saving it and investing it.” —Peter Lynch
Learn Additional Skills
Another thing you need to do before you turn 30 is to learn additional skills. The more skills you have in this modern society the better it will be for you. This applies to every person in all industries. Part of the reason for this is that most of the jobs that we are doing today will not be there in the next decades. For example, if you are a good waiter or cashier, technology will likely take that job from you. Therefore, you should learn new things. Fortunately, you can do this at the comfort of your home using the many training websites that are in existence today. Some of the skills that you can learn are: computer programming, investing, graphic design, and SEO.
Your 20s are excellent because you don’t have a lot of responsibilities. However, you will live to regret if you decide to waste this period. Some of the mistakes we see with many young people in their 20s is that they want to have all the fun. They want to travel the world, buy the latest gadgets, and drive the best cars. This is not right. Instead, you should focus your 20s on making money and acquiring knowledge so that you can have a great time in your latter years.
Crispus is a finance professional with more than a decade in the industry. Over the years, Crispus has written in-depth articles on leading platforms like CCN, Marketwatch, and Seeking Alpha. He also runs a Forex education and managed account company called WestEndFx.