Balancing Life in your 20’s: Five Tips for the successful early career professional woman

Starting a new career in your 20’s can be an amazing time filled with so much promise. There is much to learn and experience.  But, how do you maintain your balance as an early career professional woman.

Starting a new career in your 20’s can be filled with excitement and anticipation.  You have worked so hard to get to this point.  Perhaps you even went to graduate school to work on building your career and fine tuning your craft.  You may notice yourself feeling very driven and ambitious, filled with life energy, motivation, and open to so many opportunities.  As you embark on this new career path, while it can an amazing experience, it can also ignite worry thoughts that can keep you up at night, self doubt and judgments, and the constant feeling of too much to do.  In fact, it’s not uncommon to feel anxious and overwhelmed.  Even the best changes and transitions can present some challenges.

I recently read an article in Forbes Magazine that reported a growing number of young professional women are burning out before age 30. It made me wonder, how can a successful early career professional woman bring balance to her life as she starts on her career path?

Here are five tips to help bring balance in your 20’s.

1-    Self-Care Days: One of the most valuable lessons I learned early on in my career was the importance of making sure you take time to care for yourself.  Beginning a new career, you may take on many new projects, and work countless hours.  You may even begin to notice your energy is pretty depleted at the end of your work week.  Learning to have self-care days can help you renew your spirit and create more energy for the week.  Whether you go for daily walks, take a yoga class, get a massage, or enjoy a day of simply doing nothing, self-care days are essential for the early career professional woman.


2-   Boundary and Limit Setting: As you start your career, you have so many opportunities.  While you may have  the urge to take on many projects, learn to take a step back and ask yourself, “is this something I can fit into my schedule right now?” “Is this a commitment that really matters to me?”  Learning to identify your own values as well as limits and boundaries will allow you to maintain a balance in the early part of your career.


3-   A Community of Supportive Friends: According to the research on women, we grow in relationships and connection. Creating a good circle of friends or having a strong support group with other women is vital to helping you thrive.  So the next time you are talking or texting your friends, make sure you schedule your next get together.


4-   Mindfulness in your 20’s: Finding moments of quite time can be hard in a world of constant action.  One of my valuable life lessons has been to set aside mindfulness time.   And, the current research supports this!  Make sure you set aside 5 minutes or more daily to check in with yourself. How are you feeling?  Research indicates that if we learn to take time to slow down in our day, notice our breath or practice belly breathing, we can create more energy for ourselves. This can help us feel more energy throughout our day and feel more productive.


5-    One thing at a time: Ahh the art of multitasking!  Have you ever noticed that when you are multitasking you  find yourself feeling rushed,  overwhelmed, or forgetting something? New research in neuroscience actually shows that we are less effective when we multitask.  And, research also shows that when we learn to do one thing at a time we are more effective and more focused.  So the next time you find yourself trying to balance the various tasks of the day, pause for a moment, take a couple of mindful breaths, and focus your mind on doing one thing at a time.



Monica Valdivia Aguilar is the Coordinator of the Young Women’s Programs at the Institute for Girls’ Development.  She provides individual, couples, family, and groups for supporting young women through the many life changes and transitions that adulthood and an early career life can bring.


For more information on groups or individual therapy please contactMonica at

626-585-8075 X112 or email her @





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