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Pushing yourself to greater heights

Your 20s can be an important learning period in your working life

People say your 20s are the best years of your life. No longer a teenager but a young adult, you are much more independent and accountable to yourself.

But while you rejoice in the many exciting events happening in your life, you should also pay attention to the career that is supporting these events.

Freshly out of school and new in your job, you will face many challenges and new experiences. You might even have a taste of your first failure at work and make mistakes.

Don't view these failures negatively as they allow you to learn how to be more efficient in managing your career, relationships with your colleagues or superiors and most importantly, how to push yourself to greater heights.

Here are several things you can learn at work before you turn 30:

HOW TO TALK TO PEOPLE OLDER THAN YOU

Having conversations with peers or superiors who are much older than you can be quite intimidating, especially when they hold more important positions and authority in the company. But it is important to earn the respect of your colleagues and superiors.

Know that the company hired you for the potential they see in you. Be as confident about your ideas and suggestions as the company is about you managing your deliverables.

HOW TO NEGOTIATE A SALARY OFFER

Know your worth first before diving into the job market. Google the average median range you should be expecting for the roles you are looking to apply for before sending out your resumes.

Once you start gaining experience and learn new skills, you will be able to negotiate a better salary or even land yourself a better job.

HOW TO RESPOND TO FEEDBACK

At first, it might be tough to accept any criticism from your boss or colleagues. If you start to be defensive, you might be losing valuable input that can help you advance and improve. Moreover, when you get different opinions from others, it allows you to expand your thoughts and improvise the methods to solve issues or generate an even better idea.

HOW TO HOLD A MEETING

Know the things you are new to, and always be prepared. Understand what are the deliverables you need and never deviate from the main focus during the meeting.

HOW TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF POLITELY AND PROFESSIONALLY

Being new in the office, you tend to get some additional tasks that others do not want to do. It might be offloaded to you but do not be unnecessarily resistant. Each new task, no matter how simple, provides a learning opportunity.

WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT AND WHAT YOU ARE NOT SO GOOD AT

A lot of job roles, duties and obligations give you valuable lessons on what you are good at and what you are not so good at. By the time you are 30, you can selectively accept job offers that match your skills and interests rather than those that do not fit your capabilities.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU MAKE MISTAKES

When you make mistakes, learn to recognise them and apologise where necessary. Be accountable. This shows you are willing to take responsibility and make amends.

Your 20s can be a time to gain much-needed experience and knowledge.

Shape yourself personality-wise and sharpen your capabilities. This decade cannot be repeated, so make use of it wisely.

This article was contributed by Talentvis Singapore Pte Ltd (www.talentvis.com)

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