I have recently clocked 30, but each time I looked back, I wish someone had told me about these 20 career mistakes to avoid in 20s.
I am a career counsellor, and each time I have the opportunity to talk or counsell younger people especially those in their 20s, I try as much as possible to never leave a single stone unturned. I lay these 20 career mistakes to avoid in 20s bare before them.
The result of my dugged counselling has been massive. I recently had one of my students whom I counselled 2 years ago gain admission into the university to study not a course her parents wanted for her, but a course which although look common, but is perfect for her judging from all ramifications.
You are here either because you are in your 20s and trying to see some of the Career Mistakes To Avoid In 20s or you are a caregiver who seeks this information for your ward. Whatever the case is, you are in the right place.
In this post, I will neatly outline the 20 painful career mistakes to avoid in 20s.
Let’s dive right into it.
1. Immediate Gratification.
Usually, in their 20s, young people simply want to belong. At this stage in life, they are more carried away by what their peers have such as the latest smartphones, the car, the Fendi or Versace dresses, and shoes without necessarily minding what their sources are.
Young people in their 20s want too much too quickly, and that has always been the reason they make grave career mistakes.
While it is usually difficult to look the other way when your friends flash these toys of life at you, it is really a worthy thing to do in order to never mortgage your beautiful future.
For a beautiful and successful future, you need to avoid immediate gratification in all areas which also include partying at the expense of taking up your books, gambling (Soccer or Football Bets) at the expense of getting textbooks for those difficult subjects.
2. Downplaying Skills Acquisition.
I simply get saddened when younger people downplay the importance of acquiring some skill in the 20s. It does not matter what course of study you want to pursue in the higher institution, you have got to acquire some skills.
As a career counsellor, I can authoritatively say that acquiring skills in Information technology will guarantee a safe landing when you eventually leave the university. IT Skills are never going to degrade anytime soon instead, the demand for IT persons is on the increase irrespective of what their original courses of studies are.
The job market has changed so much for skilled and unskilled labourers. In recent research by smallbusiness for Skilled Labor Vs. Unskilled Labor, it was asserted that there is a growing demand for skills, particularly specialized skills.
3. Downplaying Savings.
While it is quite understandable that you may not have as much money to buy some of life’s necessities because you are still dependent on your parents, we can not also rule out the fact that you may still be able to save some cash no matter how little.
As the little stipends for school expenses come from mum and dad, it is a wise thing to do when you keep a little portion of it in a safe. This is particularly wise because of some personal, unforeseen, and necessary expenses that dad and mum may not be currently disposed of.
4. Quiting A Job Without Plans.
This is one of the career mistakes to avoid in 20s I wish I knew and avoided. Your current job may not look juicy, but you’ve got to stick to it both as a means to gain added skills or simply acquire new ones.
In my years of career counselling, I have realized that most young persons in their 20s just quick their jobs without a concrete plan about the future.
5. Expecting A Fast Career Change.
This is one of the big career mistakes to avoid in 20s. While you may not like your current career for reasons only you understand, expecting it to change suddenly is simply a fantasy… It does not happen like that.
Even for mature persons who have been on a career for a while, it is even a little difficult for a career change.
6. Rushing Off To Get Another Degree.
Very many persons in their 20s make this singular mistake of rushing off to acquire another degree without exploring other available options.
I made this same mistake as well, rushing off to get my master’s in Guidance and counselling without first sitting to explore other options such as gaining as much practical knowledge in counselling as possible before the second degree.
Your career solution is not tied to acquiring another degree, rather, it is tied around gaining as much practical experience in your field as you can before venturing into another degree.
7. Not Communicating Your Career With Family.
This is also one of the big career mistakes to avoid in 20s. You can never go it alone, you need to discuss every of your career steps with members of your family or in a worst-case scenario, with A Trained Career Counsellor. Most young persons in their early 20s tend to want to go the career journey alone to their detriment.
8. Lack Of Career Goals.
From Experience counselling young persons in their 20s, I have come to realize that most of them are more interested in the amount they can make from a job and not the fulfillment they can get from the job. Never setting a career goal is one of the biggest career mistakes to avoid in 20s.
A career goal takes every other thing that is not essential away from you, and position you on the path to success. A career goal, if set well may sometimes make you care less about money t the present so long as you are fulfilled in what you do.
9. Never Building a Support Team.
This is one of the career mistakes to avoid in 20s. Building the right support team will help you get a lot of things right in your career. People that can make up your support team include your teachers, parents, mentors or wife/husband (If you are married).
These persons sometimes have gone through or experienced the very situation you are just experiencing. They know the way, and can always help you navigate through the rough or unclear career path.
10. Talking Too Much.
While some persons may attribute talking too much to the person’s temperament, I simply disagree when this is said of people in their 20s. Talking too much is a big issue for a young person who has got little or no experience in life.
So whether you are here to read about career mistakes to avoid in 20s because you feel you are falling short, or you are here because you need this piece of information to help your wards, you have got to know that talking too much or too fast is never normal for people in their 20s.
11. Poor Self Presentation.
This is another big career mistake to avoid in 20s. Younger people lack a proper self-presentation orientation, they dress shabbily to events where they are expected to look well dressed. At other times, they even dress to the office casually when they are expected to suit up. These are few reasons they do not feel fulfilled in their jobs or in their environment. This feeling of unease becomes more disturbing to them when an older person scolds them for their dressing… They easily lose their sense of self-worth which will definitely affect every other part of their lives.
The above quote is found in Erving Goffman’s Book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.
Apart from poor dressing, the younger persons in their 20s also fail to present themselves well in oral conversations. They lack clear communication abilities, instead, they resort to arguments as a means to get heard.
12. Zero Negotiation.
Zero negotiation especially in a job is a big career mistake you must avoid in your 20s. No matter how desperate you may be to secure a job, you have got to negotiate your pay with the employer.
I regretted it later as I advanced in my job for not negotiating my pay. When the calculation was done years later, I realized I had lost a huge amount of money to zero Negotiation.
At every point in your 20s, you should always remember the need to negotiate any deal you are getting into.
Frequent Questions People In Their 20s Ask Me.
Is it okay to Make Mistakes in Your 20s?
From my point of view as a trained counsellor, Regardless of what society would have you take, you are bound to make many mistakes in your 20s and that’s okay. You should never regret making mistakes in your 20s, because you can easily learn from them and also make corrections fast.
How do I get over my career mistakes?
- You Should never move it under the carpet. Recognize that you made a mistake.
- Decide in your mind to make a change.
- Do not push blames. Take the blame.
- Plan and Visionize the person you want to be.
- Get to work towards your plan.
So far I have tried to outline the 12 career mistakes to avoid in 20s plus a few questions I get from my counselling sessions. I hope this helps you too.
You can always reach us for free online counselling. Simply Check us out.