They say hindsight is 20/20 and I completely agree. It’s the whole reason I started this blog. For every challenge I’ve overcome I’ve learnt major lessons I wish I knew beforehand. However, that’s not exactly how life works. So what I commit to doing is writing down all the lessons I’ve learned at major points in my life and sharing them for the benefit of myself and others.
Today’s lesson is some things I wish I knew in my early twenties. I’m sharing them now while it’s still fresh in my mind. I have a similar post on things I wish I knew in high school, click here to check it out.
I wanted today’s post to feature 10 Things I Wish I Knew In My Early Twenties but I’m not quite remembering everything so there will be a part 2 or I’ll update this post. Subscribe to my blog to stay updated.
Start investing with the little you have
You may think you don’t earn enough to invest but that’s not true. It all adds up. Start wherever you are in life. Save a little each week or month, however often you get paid and when it accumulates you can transfer the money from your savings to an investment account. My investment agency of choice is Stocks & Securities Limited. They provide excellent service and I’d recommend their Money Managers facility to any beginner investor.
Start repaying your student loan while in college
If you find yourself with any extra cash I’d suggest allotting that extra cash to your student loan. like investing, no matter how small the amount it’ll help to chip away and the large sum. For the Student Loan Bureau paying while you’re in school has no negative effects and will lower your loan balance when it’s actually time to repay.
Negotiate you salary for your future plans
So you just landed your first job. Congrats! you’re about to enter into a contract with your employer to pay you for the service you’re qualified to supply. This is why negotiation is important. Understand the value you’ll add and do ample research on the pay scale for your profession. When offered a contract or a position with a company it’s important to find out if salary increases are possible and how often. you may also want to check for other benefits such as health and life insurance and even a pension plan.
Regardless of how long you plan to be with a company good benefits can help you set up good habits and expectations for your future endeavours. For example, if I were to become self-employed I’d still strive to have health insurance and an active pension plan.
Also, when negotiating your salary consider your future needs too. You may want a car or home sooner than later. Get an idea of what that would cost and factor that into your wage talks. This probably won’t be possible for your very first job at least not in the initial phase. But as you grow as a professional and as your value added to the company grows you’ll open a gateway for discussion.
Take calculated risks
I’ve had so many business ideas I wish I started when I was younger and had less on my plate. I was afraid to take on the risk but I’d tell my younger self those risks are tiny compared to the ones you’ll be forced to take later on.
Thinking about starting a small business? Do it! Use it as a stepping stone to larger ideas. Make your mistakes with the small businesses learn your lessons and improve. You can then use the knowledge gained to tackle a larger idea.
Things get harder before they get easier
Adulting is tough. There’s no soft way of saying it. But so are you. I’ve faced challenges I never thought id face and I made it through. There’s no quick fix but there’s always a lesson to be learnt. My only advice is to stick it out, it will be worth it when it’s over.
Learn your career field
One thing I wish I did was a thorough pay scale check of careers within my field. Although information regarding pay scale is not readily available.
Start saving for your deposit on a house or land
For some reason, this is one of the best-kept secrets. Luckily for me, I had some exposure to real estate and its requirements through my dad.
If you ever plan to own a home especially in Jamaica, it can take years of planning and saving.
A few things you’ll need to consider are the location you’ll ideally like to live in. Also, think about/find out the current cost of a home in that area. Add a backup location to your plan as well. Create a list of all the characteristics your ideal home should have. Completely research and learn what a property of your liking will cost by the time you’ll be ready to purchase.
Then your next step would be to make the necessary arrangements to make your dream a reality. That means you’ll probably want to start saving or I’d suggest investing (to earn while you save) each month toward this important life goal.
It’s ok to not to go to college right away
Personally, I wish I had this as one of my saving goals sooner but it’s never too late to start.
Research as much as you can about how you’d like to make a livelihood. there are now many ways to achieve financial stability. We’re no longer limited to attaining success through the same paths. So take that leap year if you can and spend some time on internships and making connections.
It’s ok to make mistakes
No matter how much I try to warn you or others try to warn me, we’ll all make mistakes. It’s all a part of the process of growth and learning. Understand that not every risk you take will end with a pot of gold waiting for you. Every step of your journey through life take your mistakes as lessons and keep on moving and improving.
Travel and see the world
For us millennials, there are a ton of opportunities to work and travel. Especially now for Jamaicans interested in teaching English. You can now apply to work by teaching in China, Japan or even France.
To make this work, if you decide to go to university and don’t want to work in your area of study right away. Take on some foreign languages during your study Specifically for the nations mentioned. That way you’ll have some knowledge of the native tongue of the country you decide to teach in and your transition will be smoother.
Timelines won’t go according to plan
Some will say you should ditch having a timeline altogether but that’s up to you. for me setting goals and timelines is how I stay motivated to complete any task. I say be ok with your plans not turning out right sometimes.
Have a good week
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