As a fresher I was armed with plenty of optimism, enthusiasm and ideas to become a CEO by the time I turned 30. The bright eyed goals are still a work in progress. However if I could, I would like to tell my twenties self, to learn some life skills which are as much vital to a woman’s wellbeing as a postgraduate degree, a pair of killer heels and the latest fashion. More often than not, as women we tend to overlook the ‘sterner’ stuff of life (income, savings, taxes) for the ‘softer’ gains (fashion, food, spa and beauty). The truth is ladies; To create and live an amazing life, you need to know the nuts and bolts.
- Driving: An absolute must. Get your driving license and learn how to navigate the roads on your own. It is immensely tempting and very cushy to be the pillion rider or listen to music while your better half or brother takes over the wheels. But, when you master the ‘reverse’ gear and the ‘clutch-brake’ combination is the feeling of screaming ‘I feel on top of the world’ a thousand times over. And let’s admit, there is something infinitely sexy about a woman skilled in driving, GPS and some mean map reading skills!
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- Important identity documents: I have met many women who get their passport done only when they are planning their honeymoon. But seriously you need one, no matter the reason of foreign travel. Get your voter’s ID, Passport, Aadhar card, PAN card and Driving license in place. These are your identity papers and the proof that you exist is a good enough reason to have these documents done.
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- Basic computer skills: In the age of tech, you cannot afford to be a novice. I personally have a love-hate relationship with technology but even I can’t deny the power it has over our world. Know how to crack a mean PPT, and some net hacks to help you work more efficiently. Search the net for answers and you will surprise yourself by becoming an Excel brute at work.
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- Basic financial literacy: Taxes, Bank accounts, Insurance, Savings, Investment, Credit, Debit, Budget and Debt – these words deserve as much memory space as shoes, bags, lingerie, chocolate, handsome men and Game of Thrones do. Having control over your money will give you an edge and confidence that is unparalled. Prepare a basic excel sheet to manage your income, savings and expenditure. Be smart – shop well and for what you truly need and love. Update your bank accounts and try to remain debt free. Start small by reading a financial newspaper every day. Ask questions to your financial advisor. Observe and learn. Remember, having money is a privilege. Managing money is an art. Getting rich is a habit.
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- Executing your own travel itinerary: Start small, map a domestic trip on your own and plan the entire itinerary – from tickets, hotels, transfers to sightseeing. Make the journey and feel the liberating power of travel first hand. This will help you to plan, anticipate detours and also become more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. For eg – you may be great at finding hotels but a disaster in booking tickets. There is no set formula. Over time, you will learn and know what best suits your personality. Plus, all these will help you improve your geography big time! The bottom-line is to be safe and have fun.
- Exercise, Nutrition and Self-care: Women need to start putting themselves on top of their life-list. Pick up an exercise you love and start moving that awesome body every day. Stick to a doable simple self-care routine and make sure to know your food triggers, allergies and eating patterns. Too many women take their diet for granted – eating unhealthy every day. Remember the lesson, first me, then we.
- Basic first aid: Know your basic body biology and basic medication to stall an emergency until you manage to get to the hospital. Enroll for a basic first aid course, and use your weekends a bit differently and more wisely. You never know when knowing CPR may help you save a life somewhere. Such courses also help to ease panic or anxiety attacks, which so many of us face when we confront an unfamiliar situation. It isn’t just about preparedness; it’s also about being mentally tough enough to combat any emergency health crisis with some skill and knowledge.
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- Basic self-defence: No need to fight for a black belt unless you are a champ, but know your punches, kicks and claws right. Safety isn’t always guaranteed. Self-defence teaches one to be alert and aware and the killer moves to punch the daylights out of any molester are a definite plus. Karate, Judo, Kick boxing etc-choices are many. What are you ready for?
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- A foreign language: Learning a new language is fun and exhausting. It’s like going back to school. Mastering a foreign language will thrill and humble you equally. You will be humbled by how little you know and thrilled when you realise that you understand words which aren’t in your mother tongue. Also, it’s a fabulous addition to your CV. Imagine being given an overseas assignment because you know the language? Isn’t it such a wow moment?
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- Purchasing your own house: Single, married, engaged, heartbroken, only child, eldest, youngest – no matter the status, invest in your own real estate the moment you start earning.Go to home-fairs, check loans, visit upcoming residential places and be ready to truly create and own a space on this earth which reflects YOU. The feeling in being able to call a space your own, which you have bought with your own money, is a certificate which is beyond words. It’s called ‘Experience’. One that you should not miss.
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Being a woman is a gift, and with these mean tips from Women Planet, you are going to be one inspiring, interesting and dynamic woman. Shine bright, in your own aura.
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