You’ve made it to your 30s! Now that you’re starting to feel a bit older, it’s time to develop those habits that separate the kids from the adults.
When you’re in your 20s, paying your own bills, scheduling your own doctor’s appointments, and cooking your own meals are considered adulting. But by the time you hit 30, they’re just things that you do as an adult.
For many of us, 30 is the age at which we start getting serious about life. We party a little less. We think about the future a little more. We focus more on the things that really matter, such as family, financial stability, health, and career.
If you’re ready to smash your career goals this decade, there are some things you’ll need to do to make that happen. Here are seven professional habits to develop in your thirties that will help you advance your career.
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Communication is the key to all good relationships, including professional ones. You’re never too young to start developing excellent communication skills. If you haven’t already done so by the time you hit 30, it’s time to make it a priority.
Master the art of speaking to groups. Perfect your ability to have a face-to-face conversation. Improve your writing skills, at least enough to know how to create professional emails that get results. And never forget that half of communication is learning how to listen.
Having great communication skills also makes it easier to network. This skill is something you’ll need to do throughout your career, no matter your age, so the sooner you develop good communication habits, the better.
Learn How to Prioritize
We all have to learn how to juggle multiple things at once. Of course, this is the case at every age, but life can become even more complicated as you get into your 30s.
The best way to handle all the different responsibilities in life is to identify what’s most important and what’s not. Then, once you determine your main priorities, you can create a plan to approach your to-do’s in an efficient, meaningful order.
Creating to-do lists can help identify which tasks to tackle first. It’s also a good idea to knock out the most important tasks when you’re more alert and more productive at the beginning of your day.
Learning to prioritize what’s important helps you to master time management skills as well. Prioritization is a habit that can benefit both your professional life and personal life and help you establish a work-life balance.
Allow Yourself to Take Breaks
Taking breaks does not mean you’re lazy. Instead, it means you understand that the mind and body function better when they have time to rest.
No matter what type of work you do, make it a habit to take a lunch break every single day. Lunchtime isn’t just time to eat — it’s also time to unwind and relax the mind.
Allow yourself to take small breaks throughout the day as well. Downtime reduces stress, and staying stress-free will make you more productive and make it easier to focus.
Focus on Self-Care
Focusing on self-care may not seem like a professional tip, but the better you take care of yourself, the more successful you’ll be.
No matter how ambitious you may be or how badly you want that promotion, it’s impossible to focus 100% of your time on work. With a work-life balance, you’ll be happier, healthier, and more productive all around.
When we talk about self-care, we’re not just talking about getting massages or getting pampered at the spa. Instead, self-care means taking the time to focus on eating healthy and exercising. It also means carving out time for the things that you love to do.
Whether you love to read, write, play music, meditate, or volunteer, it’s important to partake in activities that make you happy.
Develop Better Sleeping Habits
From your mood to your physical health to your productivity level, sleep affects everything you do. So to ease the FOMO in your 20s, staying up late and getting just a few hours of sleep may seem like a good idea. But by the time you hit 30, it’s time to develop a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Experts recommend that adults get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. Our brains restore our cognitive abilities during sleep, and our bodies boost immune cells to keep us healthy. Without sleep, we can’t function.
With good sleeping habits, you can wake up every day feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. That leads to increased productivity, which leads to better results at work.
Learn How to be Resilient
When you’re in your teens and 20s, even the littlest setback can make you doubt yourself and feel like a failure. When you reach your 30s, you need to come to grips that there will always be things outside of your control.
Things will not always go your way. So instead of thinking in terms of failure, treat setbacks and mistakes as opportunities to learn what to do better or do differently next time.
Becoming resilient also means building confidence in yourself. This will improve your overall approach to work. And when you show your resilience, you can actually inspire younger generations to want to develop that confidence within themselves.
Build Up the Confidence to Take Risks
It’s true that with age comes wisdom. But age (and experience) also helps us to become more confident.
We often associate youth with risk-taking, but the fact is that your 30s are the perfect time to take risks, at least professionally. If the jobs and career choices you made in your 20s aren’t making you happy, your 30s is the time to make a change.
Because the key to success and happiness is working a job that you love.
Even if you’re in your late 30s, it’s not too late to change careers. As long as you’ve developed good spending habits and have a financial cushion, this is the perfect time in life to shift the focus of your career.
As a thirty-something, you still have decades of work ahead of you. Have the confidence to take a career risk now and figure out what type of career will satisfy you through retirement.
For many of us, our 30th birthday is the dividing line between young adulthood and being an actual adult. And actual adults know that it’s crucial to hit the career goals and financial benchmarks that we set for ourselves, whatever those may be.
If you can develop solid professional habits when you’re in your 30s, you can set yourself up for a lifetime of happiness, health, and success in your career.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Prose Memorial with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Prose Memorial the place to call home.