11 skills every 24-year-old should learn

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Flickr / Francisco Osorio

If, like many people, you stumble out of college in your early 20s, unsure of what to do next, you can be forgiven for needing a few years to get your bearings.

The transition from school to work (or more work), can take a bit of getting used to. And it can also be a fun time to try things and toss them away, to not worry so much about what’s coming down the road.

But by 24, you have unquestionably entered adulthood, and it’s good to start taking stock of what things you want to make sure you get a head start on. These choices could influence the rest of your life.

To help out, a bunch of people chimed in on a Quora thread discussing the skills every 24 year old should to learn. We narrowed it down to the top 11 pieces of advice.

Here they are:

Eugene Kim contributed to an earlier version of this story.


Become a master salesperson of yourself.

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Paramount

“Sales is the basis of all business success. You are always selling, even if your role does not include sales in the job description. You sell during marketing activities, team meetings, customer service, product management, conferences, business development, engineering, user experience and more. A solid foundation in how to sell can give you a wide advantage over your colleagues and competitors.” – Anonymous


Get out of your comfort zone.

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Philip Leara/Flickr

“Get real world experience. Start businesses, talk to people, ask a pretty girl out, go skydiving, become good at small talk, and for the love of god don’t take yourself too seriously.” – Christian Pretorius


Get very good at one thing.

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Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

“Your job, photoshop, singing, dancing, whistling, so that if the worst happens, and you get kicked out of your job and house and friends are done using you, you can still earn your livelihood by freelancing… (even whistling will do – you can roam on roads asking couples to dedicate songs to each other and they will pay you – tried and tested).” – Rohit Mishra


Build up your ‘advocate network.’

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Official GDC/flickr

“We all need people we can rely on to potentially expose us to new opportunities, people, and ideas that can further our career. Focus on creating value for other people, rather than just meeting them. The golden rule of networking: Measure your networking success not by how many important people you’ve met, but by how many important people you’ve helped.” – Christian Bonilla, Software designer, author


Learn how to code.

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

“Learning to code is one of the most important skills any 24-year-old should acquire. It goes for people who have nothing to do with technology. In fact, the younger generation is already mastering technology better than us adults and learning coding in days. Kids nowadays have tablets, smartphones and other tech gadgets. Learning to code is an important tool that can be used for future development of a person. Everybody knows how to read and write and so they should know to code as well.” – Maria Antsuk


Learn how to fall in love.

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Wikimedia Commons

“Yes, fall in love as love is the purest of all emotion and what is more beautiful than love? If you have not fallen in love, you have undoubtedly missed a vital emotion/feeling in the world.” – Karan Jaiswani


Learn how to meditate.

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Flickr/crdot

“In today’s world of distraction, this is the only tool to keep oneself focused. It has been proven by research that twenty minutes of meditation is equivalent to two hours of sleep. It’s like homeopathy; takes time to act but is worthy in the long run. But it’s a complex process and you really need a very strong determination to practice it.” – Sanjay Kadel, Realist


Travel more.

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John Wright/Flickr

“Create a passion to travel around the world. Traveling teaches you different walks of life. Explore Africa if you are in the West. Explore Canada during winters if you are in a temperate climate. You will get a feel of life on earth and develop a loving sense and meet new people.” – Anonymous


Invest in personal growth.

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Marina del Castell/Flickr

“Don’t watch TV and stop fooling around, read as many books as you can, go to seminars. Always increase your value, because we get paid about our value, what we bring to the marketplace. So if you become more valuable then … exactly, you get more paid.” – Janis Butevics, 23 year old Entrepreneur & Author, Creator of Awake or Be Slaved


Stop worrying all the time.

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Reuters/Antara Foto Agency

“Worrying is a useless energy sucker. Your life and circumstances will not change by worrying. Only planning and actions will lead you to where you want to be in your life. Experiencing life and the world with a carefree yet organized attitude while at the same time taking care of your health and feeding your mind with knowledge, that could benefit you in the future. Enjoy the present and always keep your eye on progress.” – Deme Alexis


Start saving money.

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Thomson Reuters

“Whether you’re working for someone else or for yourself, you need to save your money now. Compound interest can make you a millionaire in 20 years time, simply by putting away a really small amount of money consistently every month. With a degree you can earn more, put away more money and become a millionaire sooner.” – Stefan Stoman