5 Ways to Succeed at Work in Your 20s

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 24, 2016

BB82416_5 Ways to Succeed at Work in Your 20s

As a Marketing Director, I’ve learned a lot about my position in the field over the last few months. Recently, I’ve been given positive feedback from corporate management on how I’ve handled this job. I want to share how you can be a 20-something, get noticed and succeed at your job even if you’re first starting out. If you have any additional tips to share on this topic, make sure to leave a comment below on how you’ve been succeeding at your job!

1| Do the tasks no one else want to do.

I know what you’re probably thinking. “Why would I want to the tedious, busy work no one wants to do?” It’s simple: it shows you’re willing to put in the work. You should even do this if you’re in a position of power. Even though I’m a Marketing Director with an assistant and interns, I would never ask them to do a task unless I’ve done it myself. I believe it’s important as a leader to show you’ve done the time-consuming tasks that no one wants to do. When an intern accepts these tasks willingly, I think very highly of them.

2| Come in early.

Don’t be the 20-something employee who strolls in at 8:33 a.m. If there’s one quality I admire in a leader or worker, it’s someone who is willing to come into work 15 minutes early to make sure they’re all set and working by the time work begins. It shows you’re committed to your job and you’re ready to begin the day. When you walk in late, take extra time to get settled into work and don’t start until 8:50 or later, that’s something I noticed as a negative trait. Go to work prepared for the day.

3| Ask for more work.

If you finish a project at 3 p.m., don’t wait around and catch up on social media and pretend to be busy for the last two hours of work. Instead, go out of your way to ask for more work, or to begin a new project a little earlier than you anticipated. You’re showing that you’re capable of more responsibilities and you’re able to complete projects in a timely matter. This will make a positive impression at work.

4| Learn when to speak up and shut up.

I say this with the kindest intentions. It is so important to share your thoughts and ideas at a company; but it is equally important to know when to keep quiet and listen to others as well. Know when you should or shouldn’t talk in meetings. However, if  you’re directly asked to share your ideas for a project—speak up! You will be recognized by your coworkers even if your idea isn’t necessarily used.

5| Dress/Work for the job you want.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” It’s equally important to work for the job you want as well. If you’re starting out as an assistant, but you want to work as a director—make sure you’re working toward that goal. Dress professionally and work professionally so that your coworkers or boss can see you’re a qualified candidate to move up within the company. Don’t do the bare minimum at work. Work hard and you will see the results of that hard work.

What tips would you add to this list? How have you worked to get yourself noticed at your job? Make sure to leave a comment below!


Ki Signature



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  • Candy Kage

    You have nailed it with all your tips. No gossiping and always have a smile and let everyone know by your actions you are happy to be there.

    • Thank you so much! And yes, gossiping is always a huge one as well! Having a positive attitude is also huge for your job as well. Thank you for sharing these!

  • I wouldn’t ask for extra work. At least for now, it’s a super busy and chaotic period of time and more work would only make my life impossible.


    • “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible!'” 🙂

  • Great tips! #4 was the most difficult for me to learn for sure.

    • I think people struggle with this because you can get excited about a job and ramble off ideas when you should always take a minute to listen as well!

  • Asking for more is CLUTCH. And on top of that, coming up with relevant ideas to make it EASY to give you more (and treat you as more, subsequently), is also clutch. Great tips girlfriend!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Thank you so much, Erica! You explained my extra thought process about asking for work and giving ideas!

  • These are some great tips! I would also add CONFIDENCE is key!

    • Thank you, Katie! And wow, how could I completely overlook this one!? This is HUGE especially if you’re just beginning your career. Fake it till you make it is REAL–and sometimes the best option, haha!

  • awesome tips girl! thanks for these 🙂

    • No problem, Tianna! Always wonderful to see you in the comments 🙂

  • YES to all of these!! Taking on more work, especially things other don’t want, will definitely grow and show your character!

    • Exactly! I’ve done A LOT of tasks people hate to do with a smile on my face because the reality is–even though I’m in charge, I should be doing the work I would have my assistant or interns do!

  • Yes to all of these but especially #5. As a member of the millennial generation, I get so tired of hearing the comments about how millennials come into work with t-shirts and jeans. I always make sure to dress extremely professional and try to encourage other young professionals to do the same.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts and input on this, Cara! I think it’s so important to focus on how you dress and what dress code standards your work has!

  • Serena Reidy

    Great tips! Getting to work early shows that you’re enthusiastic about the job.

    • Exactly! I know so many people don’t want to go in early, but it’s always a good trait for people to notice!

  • All great tips! Learning when to speak up is so important!

  • Love these tips! Especially the when to speak up and when to shut up one! SO true.

    Rachel / http://www.seashellsandsparkles.com

  • Great tips girl! They’re all so true.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Candy Kage

    Learning when to speak up and shut up is extremely important.

  • Very awesome list Kiara!! I’m currently in my sophmore year of college (had a late start to the college game lol) and I’m thinking very seriously about going into business marketing so this is extremely helpful to me!

    • Thank you very much, Christal! If you ever need more tips/advice/etc. feel free to reach out!

  • Michelle Lynn

    Wow, love this! It makes me want to be better. You sound like a great leader.

  • Emily Gannon

    These are so great! Asking for more work is definitely a good sign. Thanks for this!

    xx emily

    • Thank you so much, Emily! Happy to know you’ve enjoyed reading this!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    This is such great advice for anyone entering the workforce!!

  • Taylor Smith

    I can’t stress enough how important “coming in early” is. It may seem like a silly thing but people definitely notice.

    • I couldn’t agree more. As a leader, one of my big pet peeves is when people stroll in casually five or six minutes late. Be punctual with your job unless there’s something going on–in which case you should let your boss know!

  • #4 big time! Even if we have the best or right solution, it is important to know when to just listen. Sometimes coming to the right solution with the team is better for your career than if you try to be the heroe.

    • I think we overlook how important listening is because we get lost in excitement over our ideas and we forget to listen and take everyone’s thoughts and ideas into account, too.

  • These are all great tips on how to succeed when starting out (even after you’ve started out) in the work force! Hard work for the most part does get noticed and pays off.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! Always remember to work hard and stay humble 🙂

  • Sami Mast

    These are such great tips! I always get to my job a few minutes earlier than expected to show that I’m dedicated!


  • Neely

    I think doing more than you are asked is always a great way to get ahead!

  • Your fourth recommendation, “Learn when to speak up and shut up,” has been something I have been trying to work on. More so learning when to speak up – it can be difficult to voice your opinion when you are the most junior person on the team and are afraid of failing, but being silent in a meeting can also be perceived as failing because I am not adding value to the meeting. I have tried to find ways to boost my knowledge and, therefore, confidence at work to be able to share my opinions.

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