I know what you might be thinking by reading the title – but no, the answer is probably not what you would expect it to be…
The best thing to do when you’re 20 isn’t to travel by yourself to an unknown land to get away from mom and dad for a bit (I have done this plenty of times).
The best thing to do when you’re 20 doesn’t rely on becoming famous on social media and getting tremendous brand deals (although that would be nice).
The best thing to do when you’re 20 isn’t to party every night with your college friends (eh).
The best thing to do when you’re 20 years old is to work for a start-up company.
You guessed it!
Whether it’s your company or you’re working next to the Founder & CEO, the hard-work and humbleness is something you can’t learn anywhere else.
Before working for a start-up, I thought my work ethic was pretty strong for being a young-adult with a job in finance and going to school full-time. Boy, was I wrong!
The time, thought process, problem solving, and energy– These four things all boil down to your grit. Those are definitely tested by working for a start-up. Don’t get me wrong, I am not undermining working for an established company by any means. But working for a smaller company shows you the whole warehouse of a business, not just the store-front.
Time – Working for a start-up has helped me realize how valuable time is and always will be. Track it. Time block it. Take productivity to a whole new level. Life doesn’t stop for anyone.
Thought Process – There really isn’t any. You must ACT on it. Trial and error!
Problem Solving – Use logic. Use empathy. Learn to ask the right questions. Fail, fail and fail! Accept failures and pick yourself up right away so you can learn from those failures (because again, life doesn’t stop for anyone – *Side note* also make sure to laugh at yourself once in awhile).
Energy – Expend yourself and your efforts wisely on tasks, choices, and other ventures. Most importantly – choose your friends and who you spend time with wisely.
Some people might think “it’s just a job”, but to me, it’s a privilege. To be 20 years old and learn first-hand what it’s like to be a part of something bigger than myself is such an incredible opportunity that I am so grateful for. I have learned so much from my team, clients, and my own internal capabilities that I would not have been able to attain anywhere else.
So the best thing to do when you’re 20?
Work for a start-up.