7 things you wish someone told you before you hit 30

  • Siddharth Mangharam, None
  • Updated: Nov 26, 2014 19:18 IST

I've written how the 30s is an amazing decade. However, here are some things I wish someone had told me before I reached the big 30.

1. Have a relationship. This could be a serious relationship. Or not. But like everything else in life, unless one has experienced something, it continues to remain a mystery. And humans by definition are social animals and relationships are the most natural thing for us. Embrace them.

2. Travel like crazy and go outside of your comfort zone. Travel with friends, travel solo. Travel domestically, travel internationally. Travel in style, travel on a shoestring. But travel. Because it's the one thing that will absolutely make you more of a person than anything else.

3. Set up a retirement plan. Nothing fancy, but if you start in your 20s, you're going to have a tremendous advantage over those that have started saving only in their 30s or even 40s. That's the magic of compound interest!

4. Understand corporate politics. Not too many people enjoy corporate politics, but let's face it, they're a fact of life for anyone working in a corporation and wishing them away won't suffice. You don't have to participate in politics, but you most certainly need to be astute enough to identify a political situation at work, if only to keep away from it.

5. Get a great education and identify your professional strengths. Once you've set a good base, the rest of your life is secure, and you'll be able to stand on your own feet and remain employable regardless of any external economic forces. Go ahead - invest in a top notch degree. It will pay you back many times more over the course of your professional life.

6. Live outside your city for an extended time. This will get you to become an independent, confident, and self-reliant person. You'll learn more by just stepping outside of your hometown than any graduate school program. If possible, strive to live outside your country for a while. That will get you one step closer to becoming a global citizen.

7. Volunteer. Spend some time dedicated to a cause that's close to your heart. You'll learn empathy, patience, and just become a lot more sensitive to the world around you.

The great thing is that once you've experienced all these and if you're single, you'll come across as a delightful, positive, and passionate person to anyone you meet and chances are that you'll sweep them off their feet! After all, there's no bigger turn on than a confident, articulate, well-travelled and financially secure person.

(Siddharth Mangharam is the co-founder of www.floh.in, a platform that connects singles in real-life.)

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