Today I’m wearing headphones, over my faux hawk, working standing up rocking out to my favorite jams…in my corporate office in the financial district. This weekend I’m going to dye my hair punk rock red and its going to be awesome. My HR manager told me I am rocking the most perfect hair for a Friday. So what does this have to do with my 30’s? Well in my 20’s I probably would have been too concerned with what people thought of me to do any of it.

You learn sooo much between 26 and 31. Its amazing. By your mid 20’s you have a job or a few, maybe a degree or a few and you know enough to be all…these college kids need to learn about the real world. Then you step up further in your career and think you know it all but you really have no idea. Now I know some darn high achieving 30 year olds who probably figured out what most of us learn in our late 20’s probably around birth, but for the rest of us this is what I know…

You will make mistakes, you will think you know how to succeed and you will do some awesome things, but there is a lot you don’t know. That boss that keeps taking credit for all your work? Ya know the one you can’t stop complaining about because damn it! You worked hard and they didn’t. Well guess what they don’t really matter. I know, I know but they are your boss they loom over your career! Its insane. Here’s the thing though people like that may get further than you think but they won’t be in your way forever and probably as long as you think. I was actually upset about a boss once, while another executive offered to fly me to India because she loved my work product. So I probably should have been a whole lot less worried.

You will think you are doing an awesome job and find out you were wrong. I see a lot of helper issues. You are still carving your career path and your goals so you jump in and help everyone who needs it. You are so busy and exhausted you can’t see straight and everyone says wow this is awesome you are the best! And then you find out that those that matter get it you like to help but it won’t matter. You help on your area of expertise but you have to prioritize you job first and help second. Its hard, especially if your background is in the service industry. Its funny I see my 27 year old colleagues end up in this trap and 31 year olds see it instantly shake their heads and say mmm hmm you’ll learn.

So what did you learn between 26 and 31 you wish others could know right now?

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