The first few years of your career, you’re graded on a bit of a curve. It’s generally why you make less when you’re young and have less influence within an organization. Because, when you are 23-years-old, there’s just a lot of skills you haven’t mastered yet.
But that should change by age 30. Which is why by age 30 (and probably even a few years before), that curve goes away. By then, the expectation is you’ve mastered some universal skills needed to build a lasting career.
What are those skills?
- Accepting responsibility
When you are young, blame feels like an arrow that should be avoided at all costs. So you come up with lame excuses and “omit” certain details in an effort to look better. That act gets tired after a while. By age 30, you should willingly accept responsibility and be honest when you make a mistake.
- Personal finance
It’s exciting to get your first paycheck – you want to spend it on something you’ve been dreaming of. But, by age 30, you should have a grip on your personal finances. This will help your career, as it’ll decrease your stress level and ensure you stay in control.
- Receiving constructive criticism
Hearing criticism is no fun. Our natural reaction is to deflect it or attack the other person. But, to really improve as a professional, you need to embrace constructive criticism as a means to improving yourself.
- Starting and carrying on a conversation with someone new
Meeting someone new can be nerve-wracking. But the reality is relationships are an essential part of business and forming new relationships will directly affect the trajectory of your career. By age 30, you should be able to overcome your shyness and strike up a conversation with someone new.
- Keeping your commitments
Woody Allen once said that 80% of success in life is just showing up. There’s a lot of truth to that: by being reliable and always hitting your deadlines, you build trust. And trust is necessary for getting a promotion or running a successful business.
One thing you’ll realize early in your career: not everything goes as planned. There are layoffs, bad bosses, bad breaks – all of which you’ll have to deal with. When you’re young, it’s hard to deal with these challenges. But, over time you should learn how to handle these setbacks, and refuse to let them define you.
- Email protocol
Email is the main way people communicate in business today. Hence, writing clear, concise emails is key to communicating effectively, and effective communication is essential for keeping projects on track and being efficient. Conversely, making email faux pas like unnecessarily replying-all or writing scathing emails is inefficient and hurts your reputation. Writing strong emails is a skill you should learn early that’ll help you the rest of your life.
- Remaining calm and professional
There’s no bigger sign of immaturity than losing control of your emotions. Getting angry or losing your patience might feel good in the moment, but it causes others to lose trust in you and creates a toxic work environment. By age 30, you should be in control of your emotions and remain professional during stressful times.