5 Ways to get ahead in your professional career

Start a small side business or side hustle

Having a stable job with consistent income is attractive, but have you ever thought to yourself, do you really want to be stuck working in the same industry or job role for years, while working for someone else?  I personally wouldn’t.  That’s why I strongly recommend young adults and millennials in their early 20s to look into starting a side business or side hustle in conjunction with their full-time job.  Consider it as a 12 month project for yourself, and try to do something your truly passionate and is interested in.  There is no point starting a business for the sake of making money, 80% of the time it fails and doesn’t get you too far.  Instead focus on what your truly passionate about, because not only will it keep you motivated and push you to continue with the project throughout the year, in the long term you are doing something you love and enjoy and your happiness will far out weight your income.  Many people start small, and slowly build it up, remember it will require a fair amount of planning and research, and depending on what you are diving into, may also require some capital in the form of an investment.

Remember, your still young and you are energy and time.  Sure you might not make it too far and loss a few thousand dollars, but the experience you gain from this will be priceless and who knows may even lead to other greater things.

Take up short courses online

Education is free and its everywhere.  In this digital world we live in, we are surround by knowledge and free education.  Last year I enrolled myself in a few interested courses about finance and accounting through EdX and I completed this in a few month, working at my own pace and learning 100% online.  Being multiple skilled is a benefit for your long term personal development and online courses are great since they are flexible and can be worked through at your convince! Another added benefit of online courses are that they can be recognised by future employers as additional skill sets to bring to a firm.

Currently I’m learning HTML and CSS coding through Code Academy.  I really feel this is the future skill-set to have and especially if you are interested into Tech and IT.

Join a public speaking club

Something else millennials don’t get enough exposure of is to public speaking.  Now for those of you who have an very extraverted personality, that’s not a problem but if your someone like me, who was an introvert and always shy away from public speaking opportunities, then this is a great chance for you to build on your confidence and overcome fears of public speaking.  Toastmasters and other similar clubs such as Rostrum provide a friendly environment whereby people can meet regularly and give speeches to their peers, receive feedback and evaluation and also build on leadership skills.  My girlfriend and I have been attending a local toastmasters club now regularly and its great to see more and more younger people join and take a stronger interest in their own personal development.

Volunteer at universities or community groups

Working an unpaid job does sound very unattractive, however sometimes it may give you that extra boost in your career.  Universities are a great place to start if you don’t know where to look, especially since there are many clubs and committees for different courses runned by uni students.  Join a committee and take on a role which requires your time and contribution.  Other great places are in the community and local non-for-profit organisations that run events for giving back to the local community such as soup kitchens and tree planting etc.  Both provide excellent experience on paper but also gives you added edge and character!

Learn about investments

Don’t just make money, but learn to manage it…wisely.  I look around and I see far too many millennials and young working adults who start to make a decent salary but only to blow it all on going out, food, clothing and more food.  Remember wealth does not built on its own and it surely does not built in a day.  Learning to invest will teach you the fundamentals of preparing for later life but also making smarter financial decisions.  There are many forms of investment, each varying in risk magnitude and each varying in capital contributing.  For example, a common type of investment for early 20s is in property.  Many people purchase their first home, not to live in but to rent out and receive a return in the form of rent.  Other people may look to capture opportunities in the share market, and for those who are more risk adverse, trading may be your cup of tea.  Whatever the instrument you choose to invest in, always read and learn about it first before diving in, only to realise you have lost everything.  Another final piece of advice is to hang around people who have been successful in their financial investments, how do they allocate their funds and what do they invest in?  Talking to others and surrounding yourself with other successful investors will too lead you in the right direction.  



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