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Value Creation Blog

Don’t Waste Your Twenties

Posted by Josh Patrick

career_pathI recently read a book by Meg Jay titled The Defining Decade.  In this book Ms. Jay talks about how it’s fine to find yourself in your twenties and at the same time you don’t want to waste that decade.

Too often we see our children have what some might call a delayed adolescence.  Instead of getting on with their life too many kids in their twenties go into a holding pattern.  Unfortunately, sometimes this holding pattern puts these kids into a life deficit that’s very hard to get out of.

The biological clock hasn’t changed.

You might have seen kids in their twenties have an attitude that there’s no rush to find a good mate.  After all, it’s more important to experience and have fun than it is to settle down.

It’s not that we want our children to settle down.  We want them to have a good life.  If we find that they’re coming up to thirty or thirty-five and they haven’t found that special someone they might just settle for whomever they’re hanging out with.  And it might not matter whether that person is good or bad for them.  They just feel the biological clock ticking.

Job experience you get in your twenties counts.

If you believe that your life can go on hold and you can spend ten years doing jobs that go nowhere, you might find that your peers have left you behind.  I’m not saying that you need to get one job and stay with it.  I’m saying that you need to find a job where you can learn useful skills.

You will probably end up working for several companies while you’re in your twenties.  That’s perfectly fine.  What you don’t want to do is wait tables for ten years and then wonder why you can’t get a good job.  Your twenties do count and employers will look at what type of jobs you’ve had.

You don’t want to have your life be on hold.

What I’m really concerned about is you having your life be on hold.  You don’t want to be waiting for something good to come along.  In my experience good things don’t just come along.  You have to spend time helping the universe give you what you want.

This means you have to be proactive.  You have to use your network of people to help you along.  And this network is likely to be people you don’t know very well.  When you want something good to happen, let the world know.  This is just as true in your twenties as any other time in your life.

Life has enough twists and turns on its own.

Life is going to throw you some curve balls.  It’s just the way it happens.  If you haven’t banked some good experience and good will with others those curve balls might become bean balls and you get hit.  You don’t want to get hit.  You want to have enough resilience to get through hard times.

Starting your life and knowing how you want to take advantage of your passions is probably more important in your twenties than at any other time in your life.  You have time to see what type of job and what location in the country works for you. 

You don’t have to stay in the same job and you don’t have to stay in the same part of the country.  You do need to know what’s important to you.  You can then ask about where you want to live and what you want to do as it relates to what’s really important in your life.

After all, it’s about having a great life.

Being a little serious about your life in your twenties will help set you up for a great life.  If you have children or grandchildren who you think are wasting their time, let them know what you think.  Spend some time asking good questions to those you love.  Then, spend some time helping yourself, your children or grandchildren see how getting started will help them live a great life.

I’ve seen some of my friends children not get a good start. And I’m not sure what sort of life they’re going to have.  I’m just very glad I’m not in that position with my kids.  I want them to have the best life they can.  Getting started will help them as they age.

I hope you enjoy my blog posts.  If you want to see them delivered to your inbox every time we publish just supply us with your email address in our blog sign up box above.  Also, if you liked this post feel free to forward it to those who think it could help.

Topics: succession planning, op ed, career development

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