Adulthood can seem like a foreign concept sometimes, but I like to think some of us are slowly figuring it out. Along the way, you acquire a LOT of things, but it becomes abundantly clear what you need, what you don’t need, and what is an essential for adulthood. The following are ten items that, while not an exhaustive list, will put you on the path to success, indicate your maturity, and help you feel like a real adult.
A neutral-colored, professional purse
I love a tote bag more than anyone, trust me, but I also like having a nice, professional looking purse I can pair with outfits for nicer events. These bags don’t have to break the bank, and I actually recommend not spending so much money you’ll be afraid to use it. I recommend getting a neutral bag like black, white, navy,or nude to match more outfits.
Heels you’ve broken in but haven’t broken
Some people love heels, some don’t, and you certainly don’t need to break them out for every occasion, but it’s important as a working woman you have a pair you can throw on without having to worry about blisters or bleeding. No one likes hearing you complain about how your shoes hurt because you haven’t broken them in. Similarly, it doesn’t look great to have heels that have clearly seen better days, are torn up, et cetera. Look for a happy medium and your feet will thank you.
The power outfit you wear to land the job
Everyone needs a snazzy business outfit, whether that’s power suit, power skirt suit, or fancy dress, that will not only help you land the job of your dreams, but let you feel great while doing it. I have a great structured black dress that I wear to job interviews and big events because I know I feel good in it and it makes me look like a consumate professional. Plus, I can pair it with fun, colorful heels.
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A piece of jewelry that means something
As a young adult, no one expects you to be in possession of the crown jewels, but I have found that it’s nice to have a piece of jewelry you can always turn to. The significance doesn’t have to be some long family story or a gift from a loved one. Whether it’s a watch, earrings, a necklace,or a ring, it’s a great sign of adulthood to have a piece of jewelry you care about keeping.
A non-cracked mobile device
This might be a little controversial, and I know it’s out of your control sometimes, but adulthood shouldn’t mean carting around a cracked/shattered iPhone for months. It happens, I know, and we can’t always have things fixed right away, but if you’re the kind of person who routinely breaks their phone, you might want to start evaluating why that is happening and makes plans to stop: including getting a better case, a grip, a smaller or larger device, et cetera.
A LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is far from perfect, and certainly not used by everyone, but it is a good practice to have a LinkedIn set up as you enter your final years of college and prepare for the real world. Include a professional photo, information about yourself, your work history, interests, skills, et cetera. It’s easy and free, so no reason not to have one!
A resume that doesn’t include things from high school
By the time you’re 21, or even by the end of your freshman year of college, you should be able to fill out a resume without extraneous information from high school. Include your major, your institution, your GPA, along with campus jobs and positions of power. Leave out the high school stuff. Focus on the more recent stuff, stuff done in college and beyond, and leave it at that.
A well-loved copy of your favorite book
I do not understand people who don’t read books, who don’t want them to show they have been loved. By the time you’re an adult, you should have a favorite book (even if it changes frequently) and you should have your own copy to turn to in times of stress, to pull a quote from, et cetera. I annotate, but I know that sounds crazy to some people!
Your own credit card
This isn’t possible for everyone, but it’s becoming increasingly common, so I recommend working to get your own credit card as soon as you feel you are ready for the responsibility. You can even have a parent or grandparent co-sign for a little more security. A credit card in your own name can help you build up that much-needed credit score and develop a sense of fiscal responsibility, as long as you don’t blow your budget with a high limit.
A full set of towels