7 Things Every 20-Something Y/O Should Know

1. The career you are planning for won’t be your career for life: 

It is estimated that millennials will go through seven careers in their life time. So the days of entering a job after uni and leaving when retirement comes are long gone. There are jobs that you will have that haven’t even been created yet. For example, my internship is within a local government association as a research and intelligence officer. When I tell people my job title, half of them think I am with MI5, but that’s because ten years ago my whole industry did not exist. There was no such thing as big data, infographics, or open data portals.

2. You need more than one source of income:

On average, millionaires have seven sources of income. Relying on one source of income in today’s economy is a big risk to take. As the saying goes, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. Life can throw unexpected surprises at you and one must be able to remain stable if the 9-5 falls through. Similarly, to all of you DJs and rappers trying to sell your mixtape on the street corner; pursue your dreams, but have a regular source of income too.

3. Start saving now:

Everyone should have some sort of financial spread sheet with a desired one year plan at least. Getting into the habit of putting aside as little as £5 a month will build your discipline and help you once the real responsibilities kick in later on. You will also thank yourself when your phone bill is £200 more than expected, or when Kendrick Lamar unexpectedly decides to perform in Reading, or when you get stuck in New York city for a night and all you can think about is all the CSI New York episodes you have ever seen… but that’s for another post.

Also, although retirement is the farthest thing from most of our minds, if you ask most people over the age of 50 “when’s the best time to start saving”, most will say “as early as possible”.

4.  Invest in property:

Many are choosing to rent due to the expense of a mortgage, especially in and around London. However, the average price of renting in London per week can often amount to more than a mortgage in other parts of the country. England is not just London, and don’t feel restricted to the UK either.

A girl in my office is being forced to move out of her flat of three years because her landlord has decided to sell. Just like that. She has 4 months to find somewhere, pack up, and leave. In the general scheme of things, renters do not have many rights.

5. Do something you love:

The reality is that you will spend most of your life working. More time in a work environment than in your house. More time with colleagues than with your family. So make sure what you are doing is enjoyable and worth your life. When you are 80 you will regret it if the time you enjoyed was only during the 28 days of annual leave you get in a year.

6. The grind years

Grind in your 20s, build in your 30s, chill in your 40s.

And a note for the ladies- once you get into a serious relationship, it is tempting to change or hinder your own career/education plans in order to support your partner’s ambition. It is natural because we are nurturers by nature, meaning we are willing to sacrifice more freely and put others before ourselves. HOWEVER, there are three things which can take your partner away in an instant: divorce, death, and disability/illness. As pessimistic as it may sound, a degree cannot drop down and die. Years of work experience and contacts can’t become disabled or fall ill (in sickness and in health doesn’t just mean the flu). Your skills and achievements cannot turn abusive towards you or leave you. Go out and date people, but remember that now may not be the best time to put someone else above yourself. Build your own foundation first.

7. Careers of the future (just so you know):

I.T- If you can code or problem solve, you are set.

Elder care- the baby boomers are currently hitting their 50s and 60s, meaning that a lot of people will be retiring soon and there will be a huge pull on society to aid this generation. Therefore, elderly care homes and services will be on the rise

Data analysts-  “the ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades”- Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google


By Priscilla McGregor-Kerr

Twitter & Insta: @cillahope_

The Move

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