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How To Set Yourself Up For Success in Your 20s

Cal and I connected after he found The YoPro Know on social media. After creating YoPro Library, he wanted to connect with other young professional platforms and so the relationship began. With so much synergy between the two brands, he is sharing his expertise (and professional development nuggets of information) with us in this article and I know you will learn a lot.


I guess you could say I come from the Michael Lewis generation: a percentage of postgraduate millennials ready to make their fortunes in high finance after reading The Big Short, Flash Boys, and Liar's Poker. I dreamed of working at JP Morgan Chase, which was headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, about 30 minutes south of Ohio Wesleyan University, where I went to school. The interview went well, but I never received a callback. The manager apparently wanted an Ohio State's Fischer School of Business candidate who filled her class schedule with Financial Forecasting and Fundamentals of Data Models. My spring schedule held more nuanced philosophies kept alive only by liberal arts institutions like OWU; it included Ancient Roman Literature, Intermediate French, and Russian Myths and Fairytales. Knowledge of Cicero's hellenistic speeches was never going to land me a job, as much as I'd like to think it would. The manager ushered me to the door and said, "perhaps try PNC?"

A college friend pointed me towards commercial real estate. "It gets a bad rap because you know… real estate," he said. "But it covers all your interests: markets, economics, finance, and money. Plus, it's a more tangible service than pushing around mutual funds all day." I conducted my own research, and he was right. It's a lucrative business with plenty of wealth creation opportunities. I had found a safe alternative to Wall Street. I spent my last semester cold-calling every major commercial real estate firm in Columbus and received a few interviews. I took a job as a Research Analyst at Colliers International, worked my way up, became a full-time Tenant Representative Office Broker. In 2019, I won Junior broker of The Year and Broker of The Year at my firm. Indeed, my young professional career has been clear skies with the wind at my back. I wish you all the same?-?The End.

Alright, it hasn't been exactly smooth sailing. I've done well, but in the process, I've been chewed out by my superiors, fired and rehired by clients, endured long stretches of insomnia, drowned myself in debt, and almost went broke on multiple occasions. I've learned good times don't last?, that the hurricane eventually comes, and not all leaders act like adults?-?especially when money is on the table. Experiences that not only made me lose confidence in myself but sometimes in the entirety of American capitalism.

A person's 20s are called the defining decade: a period of growth and enjoyment. But truth be told, it's been isolating. About six months ago, I started writing about my experiences and the knowledge I've accumulated along the way. The more I wrote, the more I realized that I was not alone. This is why platforms like YoPro Know are vital to young entrepreneurs and business professionals everywhere. No one is alone in this battle.

Upon writing this, I've thought about my own experience compared to the 2020 graduates just now entering the workforce. I graduated during a robust economic time; It didn't take long for me to receive a skilled job at a strong company, and I did it with only a bachelor's degree and a 2-handicap on a golf course. Today, unemployment for 20–24-year-olds has climbed above 20%, and 25% of employers have closed new positions for postgraduates because of COVID. I'm worried because many smart, talented young professionals will take jobs they never wanted?-?a path that often leads to resentment and misery.

Instead, I hope that the next generation of young professionals will use this time to reflect upon their own values and what they want to achieve in their 20s. Although it's hard to see, there are so many opportunities out there; you simply have to know where to look and start walking.

That's where YoProKnow can fill the gaps, use this platform as a guide, a beacon of hope, and a community. Grit can be achieved on your own, but it's much easier in a community.

YoPro Know's Takeaways:

– There could be ways to utilize your major in a variety of industries, so do your research when looking for a job

– Joining a community of young adults allows you to not feel isolated in your professional struggles

– Use your early 20s as a time to reflect and decide what goals you want to achieve in your 20s

Connect with the Author here: Cal Axe

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