5 Ways to Succeed at Work in Your 20s

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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!

 

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10 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

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It’s important to give 100 percent in your career, especially if you’re in love with your job. But, it can do you more harm than good if you’re constantly focused on work, and not giving yourself time to rest and rejuvenate once you leave the office. Here are 10 tips to help you achieve the proper work-life balance.

1| Create Your Perfect Morning Routine

Don’t give yourself 10 minutes to get ready and race out the door. Not only are you beginning the day off on a negative note, but yourself not giving yourself time to prepare for the work day ahead. Instead, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than you normally would, and give yourself time to get ready without rushing. You’ll feel prepared to take on your day positively.

2| Make Your Work Day Productive

When you have a productive day at work, you feel better about giving yourself time to relax after work. So don’t procrastinate on any big projects, manage your time effectively, and get stuff done during your eight hours of work. When 5 p.m. rolls around, you’re going to feel good about shutting down your computer, and leaving work for the day without wondering if you did enough that day.

3| Take Small Breaks

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, take small, five-10 minute breaks a few times throughout the day to take your eyes off the computer and take a breather. Don’t feel guilty if you’re stressed out and need to take small breaks. Not taking breaks makes you less productive because the stress of work will make you not want to do anything for the rest of the day. If you struggle with taking breaks, schedule one like a meeting and set a timer on your phone for five minutes.

4| Make Your Lunch Break Worth It

I know many people who prefer to take “working lunches.” The problem with this is that you’re not really setting aside time for your mind to not think about work. If you struggle with this—physically leave your office for part of your lunch and take a walk outside for 10 minutes. That way, you won’t be tempted to answer emails, phone calls, etc. You’ll return from lunch ready to finish out the day.

5| No Emails After 5

This is so difficult to abide by especially when emails are at our fingertips. I desperately try to not look at emails or respond to emails once I leave the office. If there’s an emergency, someone will call or text you about it if it can’t wait until the next day. You need to enjoy the short time you have after work to unwind and do things you truly enjoy. Whatever email you receive can wait until tomorrow, I promise.

6| Say No

Is your workload too much? Have you been taking on too much at work recently? Speak up, be honest, and learn to say no in the future. I cannot stress the importance of this tip because if you’re always saying yes, you’re taking away from your free time and work more before or after work. Ask for help when necessary, and make sure to say no if you know it will be too much for you to handle alone.

7| Plan Time Off Accordingly

I learned that many people in marketing let their vacation days go to waste, which is not good at all for achieving work-life balance. You need to make sure you’re setting aside time for personal days, a long-weekend vacation, etc. If you don’t take time off to recharge, you’re going to burn yourself out and you’re going to decrease productivity in your life and in your career altogether. Schedule your time off and budget for some emergency days/sick day as well.

8| Put Mental/Physical/Emotional Health First

The most important tip on here is to make sure you put your physical/mental/emotional health before ANYTHING work related. If you’re overwhelmed or not feeling 100 percent, talk to someone, go for a run, eat healthy, and go to all doctor appointments. It’s so important to take care of yourself in all areas of your life. When you’re all-around healthy, you’re happier and go to work with your best foot forward.

9| Work On Your Social Life

There was a period of time where I felt like I had no social life whatsoever with graduate school, working, interning and blogging all at once. While it’s great to work/intern and accomplish all your #GirlBoss goals, it’s all important to make time for friends, family and alone time as well. Text your friend and get a drink after work. Make time for Sunday breakfast with your family. Time with your loved ones is so important.

10| Take Advantage of Weekends

Make a list of everything you want to do over the weekend. Yes, I’m asking you to make a to-do list for the weekend—even if it’s “read a book,” “go for a hike,” “do laundry,” etc. The goal is to make the most of your weekends and do everything you can’t do and treat yourself to during the week. Instead of spending an entire day binge-watching Netflix, you can do several things you love and also enjoy some Netflix as well!

How do you achieve work-life balance? What tips would you add to this list? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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10 Things To Learn In Your 20s

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Your twenties are a beautiful time where you’re learning more about yourself each day. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but it’s true! This is a time in your life where you’re constantly growing and evolving into the person you wish to become.

I think it’s important to be aware in your 20s, which is why I’m sharing 10 things you should learn during this period of your life. Make sure to leave a comment below sharing what YOU think I should add to this list!

1| Learn where you came from

Family is everything. I think it’s important to find out where you come from and your family’s history. Are your parents first-generation citizens? What are some stories from your family’s past back in your home country? My dad’s side of the family has created a family tree book where they trace back our family history since the late 1800s in Italy. This was a 10-year project, and it’s something I hold onto dearly. Learning about your family’s culture is so important, so learn about the stories from your grandparents—you won’t regret it!

2| Learn how to master an interview

Point blank: you’re going to have a lot of interviews in your life for jobs, so you need to learn how to handle an interview properly. Learn what questions to ask, and what questions you shouldn’t ask. Learn how to wow your potential boss with answers that will blow him or her away. You want to know how to make a great first impression in an interview? Practice that handshake, and work on that elevator pitch (see 6 below). You will walk out of each interview confident but humble.

3| Learn when to say no

And when to say yes! The problem is that Millennials are having a difficult time saying no. We tend to take on too much, and we aren’t sure of our limits. As important as it is to say yes to golden opportunities, it’s equally important to learn when to say no and how to gracefully decline an opportunity that you simply don’t have time for. Learn that it’s okay to say no because you are only one person, and you can’t do it all. But that’s okay!

4| Learn how to be happy for others

It’s easy to get a [little] jealous of the girl who landed her her dream career in New York City, or the couple who got engaged before you. These moments can have you asking yourself: Am I not where I need to be? Should I be engaged? Should I make a career change? This leads to questioning your self worth, which isn’t necessary. Learn how to be happy for someone regardless of your current situation. Don’t feel the need to compare yourself either. We’re all going through life at our own pace.

5| Learn 10 solid dinner recipes

Because who isn’t searching “easy chicken recipes” on Pinterest every night? Don’t be the graduate who eats cereal and take-out for dinner every night. Learn a handful of recipes you can make quickly and easily while staying on a budget. I was always worried about making meals for myself, but I learned 10 or 12 recipes I love and I stick to those when I need to make dinner in a pinch. You’re taking care of yourself now, and it’s important you’re not eating PB&J every day. Follow the recipe, and learn from your mistakes if you don’t get it right the first time.

6| Learn your elevator pitch

“So tell me about yourself?” Ugh. It’s that dreaded question you hear at a networking event or an interview. It’s an opportunity where you can fall flat on your face if you don’t know about your goals and passions. An elevator pitch is a 30-second bit about you, your work, your passions, future aspirations, etc. What words you would use to describe who you are and what you’re passionate about? Find those words, recite them, and use that pitch when you meet someone professionally.

7| Learn how to be alone

I find that there are so many people who don’t know how to be alone with themselves. If they were told they couldn’t leave the house for two days, most people wouldn’t be able to handle it because they need to be around others. While I agree you shouldn’t cast off all your friends and family, it’s still beneficial to be content with your own company and to not be defined by other people. You learn so much about yourself when you spend time alone, so make the time to read, treat yourself to lunch, etc.

8| Learn how to take care of yourself

I feel like there are so many #adulting questions and problems that arise the minute you graduate. How do you change your license or address when you change states? How often do you need an oil change? And what can you bleach/not bleach in the wash? But really, there needs to be a Life 101 class prior to graduation about taxes, laundry, self care and everything in between. When in doubt, Google it, buy a book, or ask your mom and dad. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been calling my mom for cooking help. (Thanks, mom!)

9| Learn your passions

I know some many people can feel lost post-graduation, but all you need to do is ask yourself: What brings you joy? What makes you want to get up each morning? P.S. it’s okay if you have more than one passion! Write down all the things you love and make sure they are part of your routine and life. If you’re working at a job you hate, leave and find a job you love. If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. If you love traveling, take time off to go see the world! If you want to become a author, start writing every single day. Find your bliss, and let your passion bloom in your 20s.

10| Learn about your relationship with yourself

I can’t stress this enough. Learn about yourself, and learn how to have a relationship with yourself. Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. If you’re hateful and negative toward yourself, that same energy will come from other relationships in your life. Learn to love yourself, and learn how to have a happy, positive relationship with yourself. If you don’t like something, accept where you are today and take the steps to change it tomorrow!

What tip is your favorite? What other tips would you add to this list? Make sure to share them in the comments below!

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What it’s REALLY Like to Work in Marketing

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For those who haven’t been up to date on my life recently, I began my first job as a Marketing Director for a mall. Over the last two weeks, I’ve learned a ton about the marketing field that I didn’t learn in school, which is why I’m sharing some things I’ve learned about marketing within the first two weeks of my job.

You NEED to work ahead:

3:30 rolls around, and the day is winding down a little bit. You have two choices: relax and after seven hours of work, or begin tomorrow’s work. You always need to work ahead. If something is due on a Friday, I make sure it’s done by Wednesday. Why? You never know what will come up the next day whether it’s a two-hour meeting, or a problem with an event. When you fall behind on work, you’ll feel stressed and overwhelmed. So, when in doubt—work ahead.

70 percent of your day involves emails:

I had no idea how many emails one person could receive in one day. It’s absurd. I think I receive an average of 40 or more emails a day. Whether you’re emailing about a sponsorship, event, advertising request or proposal, emails are a huge part of my day-to-day work life. Although this doesn’t seem like a fun aspect of the job, it’s vital in order to get things done. My tip is to make sure your email folders are hyper organized so you don’t lose track of anything!

Planning and organization is essential:

I’m a huge post-it note/agenda junkie. I thrive off of making to-do lists, and checking things off of my to-do list is arguably my favorite past time. This has helped me a ton with my job because if you’re not on top of your daily tasks, you will fall behind. If you don’t keep your desk and files organized, you will lose important papers, and will regret it later. Make sure everything is labeled and put away after using it, so it doesn’t end up somewhere else!

Check and double check your work:

This is especially important for writing advertising proposals and sponsorship proposals. If you have a mistake in your grammar, or in your financial outlines, NO ONE will take you seriously. It also could cost you money. For example, if you clearly state your client isn’t responsible for printing or providing creative work, you’re costing your company $1,000. You don’t want to be the reason your company pays for your mistakes. Proofread everything at least three times before pressing send.

Don’t just wing it:

Guys, there are a lot of situations where you can just “wing it,” but your marketing job should not be one of them. If you’re not sure of an answer or how to handle something, Google it, or ask someone else. It’s okay not to know the answers. But don’t go into a situation where you’re winging it and hoping everything will turn out well. More often than not—it won’t go over well with you and your corporate office. Plan and prepare for everything just in case.

I hope this helped you all to learn a little more about the marketing field, especially for those who are interested in marketing as a future career path.

What were important lessons you learned at your job within the first few weeks of working? Make sure to share your lessons below!

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