You’ve made it through your wild 20s and are settling into your career. You’re taking things more seriously now, thinking about the future, and wanting to make the best decisions. As you carefully plan each step, it’s important to consider ways to avoid career mistakes in your 30s. These three tips are valuable guides to set yourself up for success.
Know Your Worth
This perhaps is the most important tip. Far too many women are underpaid and aren’t doing anything about it. At this stage in the game, you have experience and you’ve gained the skills required to succeed. And yet, you’re still accepting a lower salary than you’re worth. Why? For many women, it’s a lack of confidence and not truly understanding your value. You accept less because you don’t believe you deserve more.
Take inventory of your past accomplishments, any awards or certifications you’ve received, and write down your strongest skill sets. Read over this list until you have it memorized and don’t be afraid to show it off a little. Use it as back up when you discuss a pay raise with your boss (which you should definitely do).
Make a Financial Plan and Align Your Career with it
Most people allow their current employment situation to dictate their financial plan. Living pay check to pay check is a reality for the majority of people, but it doesn’t have to be. Shift your mindset and decide to make a financial plan, then align your career with that plan. It will take hard work, determination, and you’ll need to not only know your worth, but demand your worth.
If you want to be making $100,000 a year, you can’t do it sitting where you are right now, doing the same old thing. Whatever your financial goal is, ask yourself what changes you need to make in order to see it through. Then, one thing at a time, start moving in that direction. Maybe it means going after a promotion or asking for a raise. Or maybe it means finally going after that dream job you’ve always wanted. Whatever it is, now is the time to make a plan and go after it.
Find a Work-Life Balance that Works for You
There’s a lot of talk about work-life balance – whether or not it’s possible, how to use integration instead of balance, and which way is the right way. Some people set strict boundaries on their work and have a definite separation of work and home life. Others allow the two more freedom to intermingle and overlap. And of course, many people fall somewhere in between.
As you become established in your career, it’s important to find a lifestyle that suits you. If you don’t, things will constantly feel out of balance and eventually you will burn out. The best thing you can do is keep trying new things until you find what works best for you. This will allow you to be the very best version of yourself, both at work and at home.
As you navigate your career, know that your 30s are an amazing time to really go after what you want. You’re becoming more comfortable in your own skin and more established in life. Use this time to embrace your worth, lay out challenging goals, and cultivate a lifestyle that makes you happy. Trust that you have what it takes and know the steps you take now will lead to future success.
Feature photo: Andrew Neel/Unsplash