3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Turning 30
Everyone should have a mentor. A guiding hand from someone with experience can be invaluable when it comes to tackling life’s greatest obstacles. However, the relationship between a mentor and her prodigy is an organic one, and it’s not often something that can be forced. Social media has made it easier than ever to reach out to those in your field whom you admire, but that doesn’t mean you can form a quality relationship overnight. While you should always be open to crafting valuable relationships with those around you, it’s okay to look inside yourself, too, and see what there is to learn. So grab a pen and some paper, and get ready to mentor yourself by answering these questions.
1) If money were no object and I could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would I go?
How many years do you have until you’re 30? 2? 10? Somewhere in between? Whatever the timeline, do a little research and figure out roughly how much it would cost to visit your dream destination. Then, figure out how much you would need to save each year in order to make it happen. With a few more calculations, you’ll know exactly how much to put aside from each paycheck for that trip before you hit the big three-oh.
2) Where do I want to be working when I hit 30, and what am I doing right this moment to help make that happen?
According to The Atlantic, researchers at the Paw Research Center found that nearly 25 percent of adults in America have not read a single book in the past 12 months. In fact, the number of non-readers in this country has increased threefold since 1978. Considering that reading a book is one of the easiest ways to learn about a particular subject, people who want to move up in their career should be reading at least one book per month.
If you don’t already read on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to disconnect from all your gadgets for a little while and start. Readers can come away from literally any book having learned something valuable, but if you’re serious about establishing yourself in a competitive industry, it might be worth reading books about your particular field. Free online courses, college classes and certification programs are some other great ways to increase your self-worth as an individual and, ultimately, your net worth as a professional.
3) When do I want to retire?
Addressing retirement in your 20s might seem premature, but the earlier you start saving for retirement, the more peace of mind you’re going to have as you age. If you love your career, you may never want to stop working, and that’s definitely admirable. If you’re more of a family-gal, or if you appreciate leisure time, though, retiring by 50 or even 40 might sound incredibly appealing. Again, this is going to take a bit of research and planning, but it’s totally possible to get on track and start saving money so you can retire early.
If you noticed, these questions address three major aspects of adulthood: leisure time, career goals and finances. The one thing they haven’t addressed is family life, and that’s because that’s not really something you can plan ahead. Sure, it might be nice to get engaged by 25, or have two kids by 28, but life has a tendency of happening when we’re busy making other plans.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend time building solid relationships before turning 30, though; however, don’t stress about sticking to a specific timeline.
Of course, recreation, work and money are all elements that you can control, and it’s never too early (or late!) to start.