After working hard in the professional world for a few years, you’ve finally started to make real progress in your career. To continue making progress, there are some professional habits that you should develop in your 20s that can take you a long way. Here are a few to keep in mind.
Adjust Your Facebook Settings
Turn on the privacy settings on your Facebook profile, so that coworkers can’t see pictures of you relaxing on the beach or having a wild night out with friends. These photos could be incriminating, even if you’re deserving of a raise or promotion. You should also customize your buddy list so you can determine who sees individual photos or personal details. When you accept new friends, add them to the right list immediately. It’s also a good idea to keep your Instagram and Twitter accounts private. Here are some tips for keeping your social accounts private.
Keep Up With Contacts
Create and maintain a digital address book. This contact list will make it easy to find contact information for colleagues and professional mentors. This contact list will also come in handy when you’re transitioning to another job. Stay in touch with these colleagues regularly by sending out holiday cards or sending a short greeting from time to time to make sure you don’t burn any bridges. This contact also keeps you from coming across as insincere if you need to ask for professional advice or recommendations in the future.
Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile
Add more professional details to your LinkedIn profile. Make it easy for potential and current employers to see a compilation of your greatest professional accomplishments. However, reserve some of your most recent career milestones for interviews, since this will make you appear more interesting and well-rounded. Be sure to keep an updated copy of your resume on your LinkedIn profile as well. As a general rule, you should edit your resume about every six months. LinkedIn is also an important tool for developing your personal brand.
Say Thank You
Always send a professional thank you note or follow-up message after you have a meeting with a business contact. Be sure to thank colleagues who have helped you with a project. No matter what field you’re in, being polite and well-mannered will always be beneficial.
Get a Mentor
Find a professional you admire and seek their mentorship. Listen carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Choose someone whose profession you’d want to emulate in some way in the next 10 or 20 years. Set up quick meetings or online conferences as often as you can and always be ready to learn.
Know Your Worth
By the time you’re in your mid to late 20s, you’ve likely held a few professional positions. You’ve also probably had a few big projects and achieved some career milestones. Take stock of your skills and abilities and get comfortable with your accomplishments. Be confident in the value that you bring to a job, and let this confidence shine through when you’re in interviews or an important meeting. Being well aware of your worth will also give you the push you need to ask for a promotion or raise.