Since I’ve graduated college back in 2014, I’ve been working in NYC in print media. I didn’t think I was going to end up working in print media, but when it was the first job I was offered, my parents urged me to take it and so I did. My first job I wasn’t crazy about for many reasons and it took me a year and half to make the change to leave. I really wanted to go into a different field, but low and behold I somehow ended up in the same field at a different agency. Now being 3 years out of college, still in the same career path, I was left a bit lost and disappointed in myself. Why? Because I was so determined to find a new job in a new field after my first job and here I am a couple years later still working in print, saving minimal money in the city, and still left with no clue on what I would like to do.
When I went to brunch with my girlfriends a while ago they mentioned they felt the exact same way I was feeling, and suggested I read The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, PhD. I’m not one for self-help books. Typically, I’m a murder mystery gal, but after seeing how much they loved this book and how much it helped them be okay with where they are in life, I knew I had to give it a read.
It’s written by a psychologist and broken into the three important aspects of a twenty-something’s life: work, love, and the brain and your body. When I first started reading I couldn’t put the book down. I kept thinking to myself “oh my goodness it’s like she is reading my mind, that’s exactly how I feel.” She helps you understand that it’s okay to not have everything figured out in your 20s.
20 year olds now graduate with one of two expectations: that they are supposed to know the exact career path they want and the exact day they will get engaged, married and pop out a kid or since they graduate unsure of what they want in life, it’s okay for them to put off adulting to their 30s and continue floating by in life.
I definitely fall into the first mindset feeling like I have to have everything figured out especially now that I’m in my mid-20s. However, Jay’s book helped me put into perspective that no one expects or should expect me to have my life figured out by 25. Biologically speaking, you shouldn’t expect to put off adulating until your 30s and most people want to have a stable career and some money saved before they begin to have a family. Therefore, you should spend your 20s as a trial and error process to see what types of careers you like and don’t like and start building your career from there.
One of my favorite quotes that really helped put my feelings into a new perspective was, “You are deciding your life right now.” It’s very simple and straightforward, but holds so much power, meaning and motivation for me. I may not be happy with my current situation now, but it’s up to me to make that change and the best time to start making a change and trying new things is now.
If anyone has similar feelings like I did, I urge you to pick up a copy of this book. It’s a very quick read and will change your whole outlook on life. I promise you walk away satisfied, relieved and motivated like I did.