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9 Career Mistakes In Your 20s That GenZ Should Avoid In India!

Navigating your first job and career path can be confusing! Here is a list of 9 career mistakes in your 20s that GenZ should avoid making.

 A list of 9 career mistakes in your 20s that you should avoid!

Your 20s are a period when you are exploring your life choices, it is also a learning period which will shape the rest of your career choices.

The 20s is such a confusing period, isn’t it? You are moving from the theoretical to the practical world. And with the excitable explosiveness of a young adult, it is easier done than said to commit a mistake that leaves a lasting impression on one’s life.

9 career mistakes in your 20s to look out for

What follows is a list of mistakes that are very common for any 20-something to commit, but have never been cautioned against! If you are a GenZ like me who is joining the workforce and has a lot of doubts, these tips might help you today!

And to err is human, so we are not going to be able to control every situation around us, but we can try to avoid these career mistakes in the 20s!

Not having work boundaries

Funny enough, and a tad bit ironic, for me to write this. But I was lacking work boundary knowledge until I joined Women’s Web. My previous internships had previous flexible timing, but so flexible that I have seen work coming in at even 11 in the night.

Cherry on the top was the same day deadline culture inculcated by my college. So I never knew what work boundaries meant, or the fact that you could have a life outside your work setting in your 20s.

But now I have learnt, thanks to this organization and upcoming Instagram Reels on corporate behaviour. Set a deadline for yourself and do NOT indulge in work-related thoughts after a certain time. Unless it is extremely urgent, learn to turn down colleagues politely who demand immediate attention unnecessarily.

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As a youth, you can maybe afford to stretch on work boundaries. But it is the habit that would linger and affect you later on in life. It goes a long way if you start this practice early.

Don’t hesitate to relocate

My friend in Kolkata recently cracked a job opportunity in one of the top global IT companies with a huge pay scale. It is all glittery and gold. The only issue is, it is based in Hyderabad. Both, her parents and she, weren’t sure if relocating was a good choice. That is a mistake you should avoid.

If you do not have any major financial drawbacks or severe family commitments which demand your presence on the scene, it is unwise to let go of opportunities that are not based in the same city as yours. The 20s is the time when you have the energy (most days) to survive the hustle of adulting.

The more you move, the more experience you gather, and the more adjustable you become. You grow.

Oh, my friend? She decided to move, alright!

Upskill, upskill, and upskill

The 20s are also the time when we feel betrayed most of the time. So much advice around the world, but no one told us that adulting would be this hard. Merely figuring out things will exhaust you, and leave you feeling drained out for the rest of the week.

But you need to work on yourself and upskill. I know, around such times, waking up itself can seem like a mammoth task, let alone thinking about personal growth. But, hey! You got this!

We, fortunately, or unfortunately, have come to live in a very fast-paced world. The competition is cut-throat. In such a scenario, it is imperative that you keep learning new skills relevant to your career, and use them in your work setting. The more skills you have, the more valued employee you would be.

(Unless you are working in a corporate during a global recession.)

Not networking

This is lifelong advice to follow. But, it is the most crucial when just starting out in the field. Do not aim for the big shots of your industry at the very beginning.

Always work your way up. The primary point of networking is to make yourself noticed (cue for the crippling social anxiety to make its entry). Attend informal office meetings, socialize during formal social events, team up with newbies, and win your senior’s confidence.

Most importantly is to put your own point forward. While bootlicking might work with laid-back egoistic bosses, hard-working ones would rather hear new ideas about doing things differently.

Saying yes to everything

As a young adult, in order to impress your seniors, it will be a tendency to say yes to everything that comes your way. And that should be a big NO.

Take up only as much quantity of the work that you feel you are capable of doing. Nothing more or nothing less. Stick to your job description. And speak up when the work gets beyond you.

Always remember, for you to have a consistently good performance, it is important that you remain in the best of your health; mentally and physically. You wouldn’t be able to deliver optimum performance if you are burnt out from all the workload. Your work quality gets affected, and you end up being an average employee. What’s the point, then?

The hustle culture has convinced people somehow that the quantity of the work is always better than the quality of it. But someone please tell Capitalism that it is not true.

Don’t be afraid to quit a job

I can’t stress this enough.

If a particular job doesn’t suit you, you might as well look for a change. The worst career mistake you could probably commit is to stick with a company/institution where you do not feel belonged. It might be in capacity.

You might feel overwhelmed by the workload, or underwhelmed, feeling that your work capabilities are not being fully utilized. It can also be attributed to the environment you are working in, or to your colleagues who might not share the same mental capacity as yours.

Whatever the reason might be if your gut feeling urges you to quit a job, do it unapologetically. Despite the gaslighting, do remember. You are being paid because you have invested your labour. And not out of any moral obligation.

Not take the risk

It is somewhat related to my last point.

If a job doesn’t suit you, take the leap and change. And if you feel that a field doesn’t suit you, take the leap and still change. But kids, don’t act like kids. Measure all sides of the situation and then take the leap. If you jump into an empty swimming pool, it is likely you will break your own head and help no one.

Analyse your own financial standing, and your family commitments, and then decide on a job or a career change. While the 20s is the time to explore, it is also to understand responsibility and accountability. If you are sure of the change, and the possibilities of a positive outcome from it, then I would suggest going for it!

Deviating from your line of interest

Continuing from the last point, if you do intend to change career industry, then stick to what interest you. While money and an annual package can be a lucrative motivation to deviate into an unknown field, the spell wanes off sooner than you think.

My suggestion: so what do you do best, or second-best? With the advent of technology, there are more and more lines opening for a single subject. So it is less likely that you will not find anything of your own interest.

If you have two to three interests, explore them before settling down on one.
But once you are settled, do not look at another. Basically, get married to the field.

Not negotiating

Just yesterday, I met my college friend and we were speaking about our work projects. One topic led to the other, and we started talking about our poor negotiation skills. She recounted how this multinational company once approached a short project with a meagre pay amount. They would have provided her with more had she pushed for it. But she didn’t, and she was gloomy about it.

So that’s my following advice. People will want to overwork you with an underway for your labour. That’s business. You have to fight for what you deserve. Negotiate your offer. Keep pushing for more, but do not overdo it.

Don’t be afraid of committing career mistakes in your 20s

When you are stepping out of your house for the first time, everyone tells you it is a big, bad world. It feels like you are a Little Red Riding Hood and there is a wolf waiting at every corner to devour you.

But, I say, until and unless you face the wolf, how would you know how to escape the wolf?

Image source: 9 Career Mistakes In Your 20s banner created on CanvaPro via Instants from Getty Images

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About the Author

Akankha Basu Roy

The author is a Gen-Z kid who resorts to writing to vent out about the problematic ways of the world. Having majored in Theatre, English, and Psychology, I take a guilty pleasure in complex read more...

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