The 6 Most Important Skills to Learn in Your 20s

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Important Skills To Learn In Your 20’s

Most of us enter our 20s seeking a break from learning. We’ve spent anywhere from 16-20 years of our life in education of some sort and quite frankly, we’re in need of a break.

We enter the world of work or venture off with a back-pack on our shoulders with anticipation and excitement….we’re finally starting our life! And then reality hits and often things aren’t how we anticipated they would be. When that happens, it’s important to know what skills to learn in your 20s.

You’ll have many experiences, good and bad, whilst navigating your 20s. Read on to find out 6 of the most important skills to learn along the way. 

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Actionable Steps

These important skills to learn in your 20s will serve you for many years.


Appreciate individual differences.

It’s important to remember that we are all different. We all have different needs, different experiences, different opinions, and this is what makes life so interesting.

Instead of assuming people are the same as you, take the time to learn from and understand people who are different from you. You will grow, both as a person and as a friend/partner, because you’ll learn to look out and cater for individual needs, whilst at the same time valuing yourself and those around you, as it’ll become clearer what everyone brings to the table.


Know how to deal with change.

Good and bad, change is inevitable. So if you want to thrive, you need to accept this and learn to deal with change efficiently. Take the time to consider how the change is impacting your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and commit to taking one action that will help you think/feel/behave in a more helpful way.

Focus on what you can control, let go of what you can’t. And most importantly, allow yourself the space to feel what you need to feel. Sometimes change involves loss and when this happens, be kind to yourself, seek support from others, and allow yourself time to grieve. It’s okay to stop and give yourself what you need.


Learn How to Manage Expectations.

We all have this vision of what we think life will be; what we think our career will involve, how our ideal partner will behave, what living on our own will be like. However, very often the reality is different from our expectations.

Let go of your expectations and embrace each experience as it comes whilst making sure your basic needs are being met. It’s also important to focus on what’s important to you rather than trying to meet the expectations of your friends, family, and society. Addressing your own needs will lead to you feeling more confident, energized and fulfilled, in life and work.


Learn the art of saying no.

Being able to communicate effectively is an essential skill, both at work and in life. Being assertive and having the ability to say “no” in a polite and respectful way will not only mean you can spend your time doing things you love rather than things you feel you have to do, but it’ll also allow you to do those things guilt-free! So, be mindful when communicating with others, and don’t be afraid to politely decline an invitation if you’d prefer to be doing something else.


Build emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions. This includes the ability to be in-tune with other people’s emotions, so building your emotional intelligence is key to relationship development and if you can master it early, it’ll help you stand out from the crowd, both in your relationships and at work.


Know how to market yourself.

Learn how to market yourself to employers early, that way you won’t miss out on opportunities to progress your career. Opportunities don’t often land in your lap, so you need to be prepared to go out there and get what you want. Being able to market yourself is a big part of that.

There are lots of ways to further develop your skills in your 20s and a coach can help you do this at a rapid pace. If you’d like to learn more about any of these skills and more, reach out now.

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About the Author

Stacey O'Callaghan

Stacey O’Callaghan

Life Coach

Hi, I’m Stacey and I’ve spent 12 years helping people take back control. Working with me goes beyond the goal we’re working on. It provides the opportunity for mindset growth and transformational change.

I use distinction accredited psychological techniques to achieve these results and empower people to own and adjust their behavior so they can achieve their own definition of thriving. With my help, you form a clear vision of what thriving means for you whether that be at work or in your personal life, and we create an action plan outlining how to achieve it. To book a consultation with SJS Coaching Services, visit

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