We’re firm believers in the fact that women can do pretty much whatever they put their minds to. After all, women are smart, strong, ambitious, powerful… need we say more? They earn their own money, they achieve their goals thanks to independent hard work, and they basically just rock it every day. However, when you’re in your 20s, you can often find yourself discouraged or, quite simply, just a little bit lost. It’s a time of great opportunity, but it’s also a time of great uncertainty. You might not know exactly what your career path will be like, or whether you’ll ever be able to afford designer bags, or whether you’ll find the perfect guy. There’s just one thing you can do – work on being the best you that you can be.
There are a few life skills that seem silly, or may seem like they won’t make any difference in your life. However, you might be surprised – there are many skills that, once you develop them and cultivate them, can make a huge impact on your life in more ways than you could have ever imagined.
Be your best you. Here are 16 badass life skills that will change your 20s.
16 How To Ask For Something You Want
This is the time in your life that most of you you begin your career, start you rlong term relationships and set yourselves up for the future. So it is very important to make sure you ask for the things you want. Communication is key to ensuring you will be happy in your job and all relationships. Take the time to practice this as it will be very beneficial for you.
Okay, unless you’re preparing for a career in IT, you don’t need to know the ins and outs of website building and complex programs. However, if you want to really stand out in the office, here’s a tip – learn how to code. Even just knowing some of the basics can give you a huge advantage because, let’s face it, most people didn’t major in computer science, and most people don’t bother to teach themselves a skill like that in their spare time. Don’t be most people – take a short course that teaches you how to code. You won’t regret it.
14 Learning how your body works
No one is saying you need to be a doctor in order to stay healthy – there are certainly trained professionals that you can go see if you’re getting strange aches and pains. However, it is important to know your own body and how it works. Does caffeine make you feel nauseous? Do you need to drink a certain amount of water to truly feel hydrated and happy? Do you regularly give yourself breast examinations so that you’ll be able to tell if anything is off? In order to know when something is wrong, you need to know what your normal is. Every body is different, so you better know how yours works best.
13 Public speaking – with confidence
Some people have a natural charisma and ease in front of a crowd. They saunter up to the podium to give brilliant speeches without a care in the world, without even preparing extensive notes. Those people are blessed with a natural gift for public speaking – but not everyone is like that. In fact, most of us are pretty much the exact opposite – many people, no matter how articulate and intelligent they are, absolutely hate public speaking. Luckily, it’s not something that you need to be born with – if you put in the time practicing, you’ll eventually improve. Sure, your palms might still always get sweaty – but you’ll project an air of confidence and expertise.
12 Fixing things around the house
We’re not saying that you need to be able to repair a busted pipe or install a furnace or something – when it comes to major repairs and issues, it’s always best to call in the professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. However, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to wait for a repairman for every little task you need help with around the house. When it comes to home maintenance, you should know some of the basics, like how to unclog a sink, how to change your furnace filter, etc. You’ll save time and money, and you’ll feel like the strong, independent woman you are.
11 Mastering your finances
In your 20s, you often have a lot more freedom to take risks and enjoy opportunities – you can travel somewhere on a whim, you can take a lower paying job in order to get some necessary experience, etc. However, if you take a reckless approach to your finances, they’ll haunt you for the rest of your life. Why not make things easier for yourself by just learning some basic financial habits? In your 20s, establish some habits like creating a budget, saving a portion of every paycheck, building your credit by using a credit card responsibly, etc. That way, as you get older, you’ll be able to watch your savings growing seemingly effortlessly thanks to your great habits.
10 Cultivating strong, healthy relationships
Look, we get it. Many girls have stayed in a toxic friendship for way too long, or stayed with a guy who they know is bad for them because he’s charming and handsome. Your 20s is a time when you’re figuring out your own priorities, so it only makes sense that you might eventually find that you’re in an entirely different spot than your former freshman year BFF. That’s totally okay – what’s not okay is keeping relationships that negatively impact your life and well-being. Instead of focusing on maintaining relationships just to maintain them, focus on cultivating strong, healthy, meaningful relationships that will stay with you for decades to come.
9 A strong handshake
Okay, in this day and age, a lot of initial introductions are done via e-mail or something similar. However, in most cases, you will initially need to meet face to face with people, whether it’s at a new job, a networking event, or just a social situation where you’re meeting some new people. When that moment arises, you absolutely do not want to be the person with the weak, sloppy, underwhelming handshake. It might seem like a trivial detail, but it’s something that people notice. Even though it might seem silly, take some time to develop a strong, assertive handshake that tells people you’re a strong woman who accomplishes whatever she sets her mind to.
8 Car maintenance
Okay, if you’re a lifetime city dweller who has never owned a car and never plans to own a car (we’re looking at some of you NYC ladies), you might not to have the knowledge of a seasoned auto mechanic. However, if you own a car, and you regularly use it, you need to know basic maintenance – for your own safety. You don’t need to know absolutely everything that can happen to a vehicle and how to look out for it – if your car starts making a weird clunking sound, by all means take it to a mechanic. However, you should be able to do things like check your oil, check your tires, fill your windshield washer fluid, etc.
7 Loving your body
Look, it’s easy to get down on your physique when you’re constantly surrounded by gorgeous, slim models and actresses in the media. However, beating yourself up about all your perceived flaws day after day is just no way to live. It might seem like something that just happens, but trust us – learning to love your body can be a bit of a skill. Instead of beating yourself up over your decision to have a burger instead of a salad, embrace your body. Learn to love your flaws, learn to change your inner dialogue from a cruel critic to a sweet BFF, and learn to love whatever body you have.
6 Standing up for yourself
You don’t need to be a loud, argumentative woman who gets into disagreements with everyone – no one wants to be that kind of woman. However, you do need to know how to stand up for yourself when the moment calls for it. Maybe it’s a family member criticizing your choice of career, maybe it’s someone charging you a higher price when you know that you agreed to a lower price, whatever it is – if something bothers you, you need to be able to stick up for yourself and address the situation. After all, you have a voice – you’re allowed to use it.
5 Saying no
It can be incredibly difficult to say no sometimes. Whether it’s because you want to prove that you’re a strong career woman who can juggle multiple projects or because you don’t want to turn down a friend’s request, many women find themselves saying yes and then ending up in situations where they’re unhappy and often burning the candle at both ends. If your schedule is packed beyond belief and you haven’t slept more than a few hours a night in days, it’s okay to say no to that extra project. If all you want is a few hours to yourself on the weekend to recharge after a stressful week, it’s okay to say no to that get together. Take care of yourself.
4 Speaking another language
If you don’t learn a language at a young age, it can be easy to assume that it’s just too late – that you simply don’t have time to commit to something as huge as learning an entirely new tongue. However, learning a new language can be extremely rewarding – and it can be a great way to engage with your passions. Maybe your ancestors are from Greece and you want to get in touch with your roots. Maybe you absolutely adore Italian art and want to be able to visit all of Italy’s museums and galleries. Perhaps you want to spend a year abroad exploring the world in Barcelona, or Tokyo, or Paris. Whatever your goals and passions, there’s a chance that learning a language might just help you with them – or just help you be happier in general.
We’re not saying that you need to be able to whip up a four course meal at the drop of a hat when you absolutely hate being in the kitchen. Let’s face it – there are some people who find cooking relaxing and enjoyable, and there are some people who would much rather order take-out for every meal. If you’re in the latter camp, you don’t need to suddenly become a kitchen goddess, but you should really at least master a few basics. Maybe you need something to bring to an impromptu potluck, maybe you want to impress a new date, maybe you just need to detox after way too many orders of takeout shanghai noodles. Whatever the reason, it’s great to have a few simple recipes in your arsenal that you can bust out when necessary.
You work damn hard for your money, so why would you just throw it away? The art of negotiation is an absolutely indispensable skill that every woman should master. There are some times when there really is no wiggle room and you’ll have to pay asking price for something – that’s understandable. However, you never know if you don’t try. Maybe you find the perfect apartment, but it’s over what you wanted to spend – try to see if you can negotiate a lower price. Perhaps you’ve been working your butt off at the office and feel like your efforts should be noticed – maybe you can negotiate a performance-based raise. You might not always get the results you want, but you’ll have a better chance than if you had never tried at all.
1 Developing a style that makes you feel fantastic
Your 20s are often a time to experiment with fashion and scoop up the latest trends. However, at the end of the day, most of us end up gravitating towards certain colours, cuts, or styles, and there’s a simple reason – different things appeal to different people and flatter different body types. Are you a lover of all things vintage? Fill your closet with full, A-line skirts and red lipstick. Are you someone who loves all things edgy? Leather jackets galore! A simple, casual girl who hates skirts? Fill your drawers with great fitting jeans and tees. While it can be fun to stay up to date on the latest trends, at the end of the day, you should have a closet full of things that make you feel fabulous.