Let's face it: Most of us aren't going to be topping any "30 Under 30" lists. It would be nice, but in reality, it's more likely you'll spend your 20s just trying to figure out what the hell to do with your life. Major kudos to the badass women who do make those lists, but this story is not for you. This story is for the rest of us.
I've always considered myself a bit of a late bloomer (I'm not going to tell you how old I was when I had my first kiss), and that has kind of applied to my career as well. I love what I do, but it wasn't until I hit my early 30s that I finally believed I actually knew what I was doing. I'd suffered through some bad bosses, bad jobs, and some career confusion. At 34, I don't have all the answers, but I feel pretty confident in my future (not cocky, mind you, I still recognize how hard it is, whether you're 25 or 35 or 55).
Ahead, 30 things every woman should do for their career before they hit 30. As with every list like this, pick and choose what is applicable to you. The most important piece of advice I have is to learn to believe in your own abilities — and many of the directives here will encourage that. Trust in yourself, don't be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help, and go out and do your thing. Maybe it will land you on a "40 Under 40" list. We can all dream, right?
Opener photo by Erica Gannett.