Adulting 101

As if entering the real world and starting a nine-to- five job isn’t hard enough, there are many aspects of adulthood to contend with. So here’s a quick guide to enjoying wine, managing relationships at the workplace and travelling solo, among other adulting things you should know about.

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As if entering the real world and starting a nine-to- five job isn’t hard enough, there are many aspects of adulthood to contend with. So here’s a quick guide to enjoying wine, managing relationships at the workplace and travelling solo, among other adulting things you should know about. 

How to make more money 

Making ends meet can be difficult, so why not earn some extra cash with a side hustle? 

Ask for help 

Many banks offer complimentary advisor services—take advantage of them to learn how you can invest and maximise your cash flow. Investing isn’t necessarily scary and doesn’t take a lot of money to start. A financial advisor can help you to assess your risk tolerance and build a diversified portfolio based on it. 

Start a passion project 

Turn your hobby into a source of income. For example, many fitness instructors have a nine-to-five corporate job. They teach spin or yoga classes after work, getting their workouts in while earning some extra money. 

Sell the stuff you don’t need 

Work with what you’ve got—purge your closet of everything you haven’t worn in the past year and sell your old clothes. It’s also a great way to reorganise and rediscover old pieces you may have forgotten about. 

Find freelance work 

Take on freelance work that doesn’t compete with your day job. Eshton Chua, a furniture designer by day and freelance graphic designer by night, uses his past work connections to get small projects. “I see my freelance work as a break. I know it’s technically work, but working on something different gives me a fresh perspective. After I complete a freelance project, I walk away with money and inspiration.” 

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How to shop for groceries like a pro

You are what you eat, which means you should only get the freshest produce and finest meats. Need some tips on picking them out? Andrea Lee, a chef who specialises in dishes using raw ingredients and founder of Bunny Bakery, spills the tea. 

Choose the heavier citrus fruits 

“For citrus fruits that are charged by quantity, choose those that are not only heavier, but that also have a thinner outer skin. Those are the juiciest!” 

Check for mould 

“When buying berries, flip the box over to look for mould, which may be present if the berries were not stored properly.” 

Get the right cut of meat 

“The cut of meat you should get depends on the dish you’re making. For example, if you’re slow-cooking beef, the cooking process tenderises the meat, so you don’t need to purchase the most expensive or tender cut.” 

Store your food properly 

“Avoid storing fruits and vegetables in the same refrigerator compartment, as fruits release a gas called ethylene that causes vegetables like asparagus and broccoli to spoil faster.” 

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How to travel solo 

Solo travelling can be intimidating for anyone, but sadly, there are dangers that women are more prone to encounter on such trips. Don’t let fear put you off, though. We ask Kayle Wong, 25, who has been solo tripping since she was 19, to share some tips. 

Know your way around (or just act like you do) 

“The more I look like a tourist, the more people try to take advantage of me. Even if I’m on my phone, I avoid using Google Maps while I’m walking around.” If you really need to check where you are, duck into a shop before opening the app. 

Make friends with benefits 

“Befriending other female solo travellers is so helpful. They’ll be able to tell you nuances about the city that people travelling in groups might have overlooked or that male travellers wouldn’t even have considered.” 

Keep your cash in unexpected places 

“I’ve trawled the internet for safety tips and the one I’ve found the most useful is rolling cash into the plastic shell of a tampon and putting it in your pocket. Trust me—the chances of someone stealing a tampon from you are pretty low.” 

Remember the emergency numbers 

“Get familiar with the local emergency hotlines, as they differ from country to country. Ask your concierge to write down your hotel’s address in the country’s native language and bring it with you when you head out.” 

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How to manage relationships at the workplace 

Learning to navigate your work environment creates greater job satisfaction and can help you climb the corporate ladder. 

Always show appreciation 

According to researchers at Mind Tools, an award-winning company that provides career and management learning solutions, everyone from the CEO to the intern wants to feel recognised for their efforts. Showing appreciation whenever someone helps you can lead to more positive relationships. 

Know your boundaries

While having a work BFF is awesome, be wary when gossiping about other coworkers or complaining about work —you never know who’s listening.

Remain neutral 

Charmaine, an assistant manager at a fashion retailer, warns: “I used to be close to quite a few of my employees, but then I was accused of nepotism. I understand why it could have been perceived that way, but if two candidates are equally qualified, yet I trust one more than the other, why is it wrong to promote the one I trust more?” There’s nothing wrong with being close to your boss, but keep your relationship professional in the office. “Avoid posting things together on social media to keep speculation at bay,” advises Charmaine. 

Make friends with the enemy 

Regardless of how likeable you are, there will almost always be that one person you clash with in the office. Rather than keeping a distance, do your best to get to know them. According to Mind Tools, finding any semblance of similarities can help two people feel more connected, which will ease the tension. 

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How to enjoy wine 

Find yourself spending evenings at networking events? Picking up basic sommelier skills will not only help you appreciate wine, but also impress your peers. Stanley Ang, a sommelier and General Manager of Luke’s Heeren, breaks down wine tasting into three simple steps. 

See what the colour tells you 

“Just like how we appreciate food, appreciating wine starts with the eye. The colour tells us a lot about the wine. A deeper, darker colour means a more concentrated wine that is also intense on the nose.” 

Take a deep breath 

“Swirl the glass of wine—it introduces oxygen to the juice and releases its aromas. Breathe deep and concentrate… get your nose in the glass and you will experience the bouquet more profoundly.”   

Have just a sip 

“Take a small mouthful and swirl it around your mouth to further distinguish the aromas. Try breathing in slightly to further intensify the aromas.” 

Images, (, Emirkhan Bal)