Meg Jay, an American clinical psychologist, tells us in a very interesting TED talk that, contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In other words, 30 is not the new 20. I couldn’t agree more.
Her three main pieces of advice:
- Get some identity capital – do something that is a step in the right direction towards where you want to go, something that adds value to who you are and who you might want to be next. You don’t need to know what exactly you want to do, but don’t just do nothing. Waiting tables while you think is a waste of time.
- Use your weak ties – build your network, meet new people, and leverage the people who you know through other people, rather than relying purely on your inner circle.
- Pick your family – the time to start picking, or at least start thinking about what you really want. You should be consciously choosing who and what you really want, rather than making something work or killing time with who happens to be choosing you.
At the end of the talk, Meg used a plane analogy to reiterate what I have believed for a long time – it’s more about moving in the right direction, rather than having everything exactly figured out. A slight change in course is most definitely worth doing and can make a huge difference further down the road. In other words, when you know what you really want to do, stop procrastinating about your life like one 20-something I had this conversation with last year, and instead change something small (and stick with it) to change the direction of your whole life, one step at a time.