Young Upstarts

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4 Tips For Achieving Success Without Waiting Your Turn

by Michelle A. Turman, author of “Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready

Forget the time-honored tradition that younger workers need to “pay their dues” before moving up the ladder of success.

These days many young people see no need to wait their turn – and their refusal to patiently stand in line is the right idea.

They understand that if what they want doesn’t happen within a certain amount of time, they can move on to something different, or go create an opportunity that works for them and their lifestyle.

Such an ambitious attitude might not match the stereotype of today’s young people, but that’s because the stereotype is often off base.

I do a lot of business with young professionals, and they are nothing like the lazy, selfie-snapping narcissists they are often portrayed as. They are motivated young people who realize the world is changing and that they must change with it.

But they do face a problem. For all their enthusiasm and big ideas, they lack the tools and experience they need to execute and implement those ideas, which means they could use a little guidance along the way. Here are a few tips for passionate and impatient young people who don’t want to wait their turn to achieve great things:

1. Find a mentor.

Having good mentors is critical to success. I recommend a local mentor because meeting in person, face-to-face, really matters. Part of the mentor-mentee relationship is about hearing stories or advice from a different perspective, which in turn allows you to think more introspectively. A mentor gives you someone to lean one when you’ve had a bad day, she says, but it’s also the mentor’s job to challenge you.

2. Believe in yourself.

If you’re determined to achieve success now, and not later, you can’t take the easy road. This is about creating your own path and holding your head high.

3. Ignore the naysayers.

With every risk you take, there likely will be naysayers who will insist you are too young, too inexperienced or just plain unprepared. Your strong belief in yourself will need to come into play here, and you will want to avoid your detractors and refuse to let them derail your progress.

4. Make your health a priority.

There’s nothing wrong with hard work, but know when to draw the line. Not enough is said or written about the toll that stress takes on your health, your body and your relationships. You have to be able to step back and say, ‘I’ve done my best. I have put in enough hours at work this week.’ The culture places a higher value on work time than on ‘me’ time, but if you don’t prioritize me time once in a while you will burn out and the work time will slowly kill you.

When people wait until they are “ready” to achieve their goals, they risk missing opportunities.

Being ready is overrated. Tune out the noise, rise above the detractors and start believing in yourself – even when no on else does.


Michelle A. Turman, author of “Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready“, is the president of Catalyst Consulting Services whose mission is to facilitate positive change in the areas of executive searches, organizational management and fundraising. With more than 23 years of nonprofit experience, Turman has been responsible for increasing the impact and best practices of nonprofit organizations she serves and has raised over $60 million through her professional and personal philanthropic efforts.


This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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