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5 career mistakes that are okay to make in your 20s

April 20, 2015, 5:20 PM UTC
Group of coworkers discussing project in office
Photograph by Thomas Barwick—Getty Images

The following originally appeared in WhoWhatWear.

Everyone makes mistakes—whether we’re talking career, relationships, or fashion. The important thing is you learn from the minor (or major) mess ups. That’s why today, we’re sharing five common career blunders that you’re better off making now rather than later. Not that we’re encouraging you to make these mistakes; but if you do, you can can certainly bounce back, even stronger than before.

Mistake #1: Bombing an interview

Perhaps you made one of these mistakes. Best-case scenario? This happened in your early 20s (right after college) when you’re applying for entry-level jobs rather than senior positions. Brush yourself off and prepare way better next time.

Mistake #2: Failing to negotiate your salary when hired

This is a tricky situation—always. It’s understandable to hesitate and avoid asking for more money right off the bat, especially if you’re fresh out of college or only have 1 to 2 years of experience. So it’s okay to make this mistake while you’re in your early 20s, but as you progress in your career, become more experienced, and gain valuable skills, you’d be crazy not to discuss your pay.

Mistake #3: Not dressing the part

At this stage in your life, your wardrobe may be transitioning from cute college clothes to a sprinkling of office-appropriate attire. Building a career-friendly closet takes time. So, sure, every once in a while you might not look as professional as you’d hope, but hang in there—an amazing 9-to-5 wardrobe comes with age.

Mistake #4: Ignoring your vacation days

So you didn’t make time to plan a getaway due to your ambitious workload and career-focused attitude. Make this mistake while you’re young. As you get older, it’s important to make time for yourself and always take advantage of your vacation days.

Mistake #5: Settling for the first job that comes your way

You let your nerves and eagerness get the best of your judgment and you took the first job offer that came your way. It happens. The good news? It’ll all be okay, as you’re at the start of your career and any experience is better than none. We suggest making the most of it, learn as much as you can, and getting a year or two of experience under your belt before you start applying for another job.

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