20 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re A 20-Year-Old Professional


1. Business Causal has become your wardrobe, but you still prefer sweats and a shirt every once in a while.

You’re sporting a blazer and heels to your Monday 8:45 while everyone else rolls out of bed still in their weekend hangover-PJ’s because you have a jam packed schedule and no time to change before your meeting at 3. But, once you get back your room for the night, forget about it; oversized sweats and fuzzy socks FTW.

2. You understand that it takes a whole lot more than just college degree to become successful.

One word: networking. You realize can have the best GPA imaginable, but if you don’t spend your time in college wisely and make connections, you can miss out on a lot more than sleep your Junior year.

3. You’ve mastered the perfect email, but there is probably still laundry lying all over your floor.

Sure, you can craft a cover letter like nobody’s business, but that doesn’t mean your room is as organized as your well written “about me” section.

4. Weekends are used for so much more than just partying.

There have been multiple times this past year you’ve had to take a business trips on the weekend only to come back and take an exam that Monday morning. That’s what the studying on the plane ride is for, right?

5. You understand that passion can sometimes outweigh experience.

I was lucky enough to secure an internship this past summer which some would say I was way too young for. Fortunately, the head of the company saw the passion I had for the field. Sometimes a certain “hunger” can get you farther than previous experience.

6. Coffee is not just a trendy thing college students drink, it’s a necessity.

6 AM flights? Proposal deadlines? 8 AM meetings? Suddenly, Red Eyes have become so much more than your flight from NYC to LA.

7. You can talk for hours without running out of things to say.

Creativity is an important part of the business world. Which means your brain is always turning with new ideas. Thus, that two-hour meeting has suddenly lasted longer than that dinner between Stanislavsky and Nemirovich back in 1897.

8. You aren’t afraid to start a conversation with a stranger.

You’ve perfected your “elevator speech” because you never know whom you might be sitting next to on your train ride to Warp Tour.

Remember your great-uncle Bob’s son who married that girl from New York whose Dad’s sister used to work for Sotheby’s? Yeah, you tracked down her number and you called her.

10. You understand that failure is part of the process.

Not every sale will go through. But in the end, you realize you gain valuable knowledge from every conversation and experience you have along the way.

11.You aren’t afraid to take risks even if it means eating ramen for the next month.

Over the summer a few years ago, I was invited to go on spur of the moment training trip while I was already traveling away from home. Even though I knew I would be getting paid, I knew I would be spending more money on this trip than I would be earning, but I also realized this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and so I jumped on it and successfully landed a future job as a result of it.

12. You’ve spent the night alone in a hotel room 2,000 miles from home, but you still can’t rent a car.

You hopped out the plane at LAX and now you are forced to pay the outrageous cab fees to and from the airport because for some reason you can be charged with murder, but you still can’t legally borrow a vehicle. Luckily, Uber has become your knight in shining armor.

13. You don’t understand the term the “Free Time”.

You actually budget time in your day to eat to make sure you don’t, you know…die.

14.  Instead of text messages, the first thing you check in the morning is your email.

Yes, thank you for the update that James cheated on Samantha last night and YES SARAH I WILL SEND YOU THE MEDIA REPORT BY 5 PM.

15. Your idea of a Saturday night pregame is taking a shot every time you write an internship inquiry email.

You remember to make a mental note to proofread each and every message before you send them the following morning…

16. You’ve flawlessly constructed your resume to fit any job you could imagine, but you still burn popcorn on the reg.

Damn you, university microwaves.

17. List. Lots of lists.

#1 Finish Midterm Paper
#2 Book flight for trip to Miami in January
#3 Remind roommate we still need milk

18.  You’ve got your own business card, but you still can’t find your car keys.

You’ve got at least 15 cards tucked neatly inside your purse at all time, and yet how do your keys keep ending up in the refrigerator??

19. You understand that there is always someone more successful out there.

The most important thing about being young and successful is to realize there are so many people out there ahead of you. Sure you may be doing well for your age, but don’t let that make you cocky. You have so much more to learn and great people that can help you along the way.

20. You can buy your own international flight ticket but you still can’t legally drink alcohol (in America).

Luckily, once you’re over international waters, you’re home free. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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