19 Things to Stop Doing In Your 20s

So, you’ve graduated college. You are entering the “real world” bright eyed and bushy tailed…now what?

A friend of mine recently sent this article to me, and as I read through it I felt that in many ways it could be translated into some suggestions for the professional 20 something year old (or older) sales person who may be entering the professional world for the first time, or may already be here and looking for some additional direction.  Professional being the key word here.

Here is a link to the full article, but below I have chosen a few of my favorites to discuss. 19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20’s.

1. Stop placing all of the blame on other people for how they interact with you. “To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.”

I think that this is a great point not just for 20 something year olds, but anyone in general who doesn’t like the way that others respond to them. In my personal experiences in life, those who I treat with respect and consideration reciprocate with the same type of treatment. If you demonstrate positivity, thoughtfulness, and professionalism in your interactions with others they are likely to want to work with you more often – down the road you may need help or be seeking a promotion and one of the first things that is always considered is how you interact with your peers.

3. Stop seeking out distractions. “You will always be able to find them.”

Simple enough, right? Not so fast mister. How many actions throughout our day do we consider necessary that in reality are distracting us from our true game plan for success? Do you check your email the second you arrive in the morning? An article I read by Forbes Magazine called “Ten Resolutions The Most Successful People Make And Then Keep” points out that “We wake up with a renewed mind and spirit, ready to take on the world, and then we immediately allow ourselves to be distracted by an insignificant email. Instead, wake up and take on the most important task of the day, and then (and only then) hit the email.” The same goes for checking social media outlets, making Happy Hour plans, re-organizing your desk, discussing last nights TV shows, etc. Allow yourself to put in the “extra degree” of effort that will set a productive pace for your day BEFORE you worry about things that don’t help you achieve your professional goals.

11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. “Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.”

This one sounds a lot like #1, doesn’t it? In addition to what we have already discussed regarding how you interact with others, this also lends to the notion that you may actually learn something if you stop ignoring the fact that everyone does not think the same as you. Keeping an open mind in professional situations may enable you to grasp a new more efficient way to accomplish something. You may realize that the person you least expected can help you in a huge way by doing things differently than you ever considered. In turn, it may help to solidify working relationships that down the road may also be helpful.

13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. “It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20’s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.”

One of our MultiView Business Rules is “Great managers all live a balanced life.” Andy Keith also repeated this to me the day that I was first promoted to team lead in October of 2009. At the time I really thought my life was balanced, and I had no idea that there was any other way to do things. Come to work, work, happy hour, go home, eat dinner, go to bed, come back and do it again. I didn’t feel as if anything was particularly OUT of balance…but I now realize that there was nothing balanced about my life. Since then, I’ve learned how to balance work, family, friends, and personal time withouth ever feeling spread too thin. By being mindful about where I dedicate my time and to what activities, I am able to balance life in a way that leaves me refreshed day in and day out. I’ve also realized that life is to short not to experience as much as possible.

In conclusion I’d say that as we proceed forward through the rest of our 20’s and even into our 30’s, most everyone could benefit from being mindful of these tips. Please pass them along!

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