How to “Adult” 101: A Story as told by a Young PRofessional


As millennials step into the working world, we are met with a reality of what we expected and what exists. College was sometimes difficult and obtaining a job seemed impossible. Professors and mentors told you to intern, network, and apply for as many jobs as possible. Upon graduation, we all learn the truth. It really is all about who you know. Most of us will likely end up in a job at a place we interned or where a mentor or friend referenced us to get an interview. On top of that, the field we thought we wanted could turn out to be a dream or a nightmare.

Ultimately, we all have to remember the beauty of being a fresh, millennial 20-something. We have time to figure out our lives and what the future will look like. In 30 years, we will probably look back on life and the path we took will make sense, but right now it is confusing, frustrating, and downright exhausting; however, the silver lining does shine through our seemingly foggy future. We are young, energetic, excited, and honestly, really efficient. Below, my fellow 20-somethings can have a quick look at some young professional advice not told to you by other employees/mentors:

1. No one ever reads the full email you send, no matter how short

Make sure to say important information in the first sentence because your recipient will most likely not read to the bottom. You will probably ask the same question or request the same thing three or four times before it happens. Sometimes, I make my subject line the question and include nothing in the body if I need an answer ASAP and can’t call.

2. Never be afraid to ask

If you need to leave an hour or so early, your boss probably won’t mind. If you have under-utilized skills, your boss probably wants to know. When you have questions, ask. The worst you can be told is ‘no.’

3. Network anytime and anywhere

You never know who you are going to meet or where you’ll be. Always think ahead to how each person you meet could be THE next person you need to know.

4. Save your money while you’re single

Right now, you are able to save money and trust me your future will appreciate it. You don’t need to eat out every night and almost every bar has drink specials throughout the week. Plan accordingly and don’t spend money when you don’t need. For instance, pack you lunch. Imagine the savings!

5. Read all the documents you are given at your job and ask a friend if you don’t understand them

At my first job, I was given a huge packet on my health insurance. I have/had no idea what it all meant so I went to my grandparents to explain pieces, like my flexible spending plan.

6. Always be thinking of your next step

In PR, you can move through jobs at a much more rapid pace than your parents. It is okay! Stay fresh on the industry and move as you see fits your skills.


7. Take small vacations with friends

Since I said you need to save money, make time with friends really count by taking small vacations. Visit your friend in grad school or travel to a nearby winery or park. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a good experience.



Kiley Herndon is an energetic PR professional working and living in St. Louis. She is an avid reality TV watcher, 20th century book connoisseur, and lover of all things travel. Learning brings her unending joy and is always looking for opportunities to expand her knowledge and grow as a person and professional. Connect with her on Linkedin!