To Make Good Money In Your Early 20’s: Make More Attempts Than Anyone Else


Something I have noticed that holds many 20-somethings back from earning as much money as they’d like is fear of “not being ready”.

So many 20-somethings are trying to make their resume look perfect, or obtaining unnecessary degrees, or waiting until they have enough experience to start applying for jobs that will boost their income.

They’re waiting for the perfect time, the right opportunity, the exact moment when the stars align to pursue their dream job or start that side hustle they have been thinking about for months.

Quite frankly, this is a terrible strategy.

I recently wrote about how I landed a job this past month that increased my salary by over 50%. That was a major win. But what I don’t tell most people is that I applied to 10 other jobs and got denied, was told I wasn’t qualified, or was flat out ignored by all of them. So technically my success rate was 1 out of 11. A pathetic 9%. But I still got the result I wanted. All I needed was for one company to say yes to me to completely cancel out all my failures. 

The trick to making more money in your early 20’s is to make a ridiculous amount of attempts. Try more than anyone you know.

Submit your resume everywhere.

Send cold emails to companies.

Attempt to make connections with alumni from your college.

Make a LinkedIn account.

Just take action. If you fail, nobody cares anyway

Us early 20-somethings hold a major advantage: we have so much less to lose than 30 and 40-somethings. For most of us, even if we fail there are no major consequences.

Get rejected by a company? Move on to the next one.

Get hired and do a terrible job on your first assignment? No one cares, try again.

Get denied after asking for a promotion? Don’t sweat it, it was good experience asking anyway. 

Most young people don’t actually need another degree, or another skill to add to their resume, or another online course certification. Instead, they’re better off just getting work experience. Try a bunch of stuff. Apply to a bunch of places. Just get going. Get started. Put yourself out there. 

Once you get started, you’ll inevitably gain experience, pick up new skills, and build your professional network. This leads to income. Which leads to savings. Which leads to investments. Which leads to dividends, which leads to more income…and the wealth snowball begins to take shape. 

But you’ll never start making money if you sit on your laptop all day, obsessing over the font size on your resume, or waiting until you have the courage to apply for jobs, or waiting for the perfect opportunity. Take action. Hit send. Embrace failure and treat it for what it really is: a valuable learning experience. 

To all my fellow 20-somethings: don’t let your ego hold you back. Nobody cares if you fail. Heck, most people won’t even know if you fail. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Apply for positions, start emailing people, ask for opportunities, and build connections. This is how to open doors that will allow you to start making good money in your early 20’s. 

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4 Replies to “To Make Good Money In Your Early 20’s: Make More Attempts Than Anyone Else”

  1. Great advice to always reach out and try, even if you aren’t quite qualified. My only caution is never take a job JUST because it pays more – if it’s a bad work environment, you will be miserable. Spending 40+ hours a week at a job you hate is not worth it! But try and try again 🙂

    1. Sarah, I agree with you on that one! Earning more isn’t worth it if it means working a miserable job in an awful work environment. Money is important, but not at the expense of your mental health. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. This fine article is even true for those of us over 20 and were tripped up by this economy and just getting back on our feet again after eight years.

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