Published on August 21, 2018

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The Domino officesPhotography by Heidi's Bridge

In your 20s and 30s, when you’re first finding your footing in your career, it’s crucial to be strategic and thoughtful, but it often feels like we’re all just kind of winging it. Jaclyn Johnson thought so, too, and stepped up to the plate with her just released book WorkParty, which is described as a “rallying cry for a new generation of women who are redefining the meaning of work on their own terms.”

Johnson’s name probably sounds familiar—you know her as the bootstrap, powerhouse entrepreneur, who sold her first business at 28, and went on to immediate create the uber-popular, women-focused conferences Create & Cultivate in 2012 (which has since exploded to hundreds of thousands of followers and attendees, and over 75 events to date).

But the majority of all these experiences led her to a career devoted to building women up in the workplace. In doing so, she discovered that smart business advice for young women was few and far between. Thus the birth of WorkParty, which along with the book, will be launched as a podcast, for all things work and struggles that can come along the way, as well as a nation-wide tour.

With all things work in mind, we asked Johnson to narrow down the top 10 things you should do to align yourself on a unique and successful career path—before you turn 30. (But all of us can take advice from this, no matter your age.) In Johnson’s own words below, the 10 tips to help you navigate the professional world in your 20s:


Be a 'Yes' woman with boundaries

When opportunity knocks, answer

Saying yes to opportunities are a great way to learn about your industry, and also yourself. Finding out what you don’t like will only help gravitate you towards what you do.   


Network horizontally

There's power in knowing your peers

Networking doesn’t always mean getting coffee with the people you idolize. Get close with the people you work with on the way up, you never know where their next job will take them, or how you can help each other in the future.


Speak up but add value

And show your enthusiasm

Don’t be afraid to speak up and offer a new approach for a project. You may be fresh in your career but new ideas are always welcome and shows your enthusiasm.


Follow up, follow up, follow up

Following up is an art form in itself

The reality is people might not answer you the first time, second time or even third but persistence is important and will pay off in the long run.


Be able to wear multiple hats

Make yourself invaluable

A versatile employee who’s willing to work outside their job description is invaluable to both small and large companies. Four words no CEO wants to hear are “that’s not my job.”


Watch what you share

Be cautious on social media

Social media can play a big part in whether you land your dream job. Be cautious of the social platforms you have and what you’ve shared.  The personal and professional are closely intertwined.


Perfect how you organize

Figure out what works best for you

This one may see odd but narrow in on what helps you best when it comes to productivity. This might be a killer to-do list, or maybe you need everything input into your calendar. Whatever its, find out what works best for you.


Be persistent

You may hear 'no' but don’t let that stop you

If you’re passionate about what you do, use rejection as fuel to push you forward.


Start Saving ASAP

Every penny really does count

Put a portion of every check into your savings account. If you can, 20 percent is a good number to start with.  


Know it’s going to be okay

There will be ups and downs

Sometimes we can be hard on ourselves, especially us women. Know your value and never compromise for who you are and know that your 20s are often filled with the biggest ups and downs, but know it will all be okay.

Get more career tips:
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How a Therapist Turned Her Decor Hobby Into a Full-Time Job
How One Young Designer Went From Making Homewares to Cars