Career Magazine

30 is NOT the New 20. Stop Lying to Yourself.

By Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl

A few months ago, my friend and former professor Mark Lacker said I HAD to read Dr. Meg Jay’s book “The Defining Decade.” I’m so glad I did.

My/our generation (Gen Y) has been fed a lot of crap from the media and from parents who wish they did things differently when they were young. Sadly, it only ended up hurting us in the end. While you think that filling your twenties with underemployment and a total focus on going out with friends is the only way to spend your time, think again.

Think about the successful people you know.  Did they waste their 20′s? No. They got busy.  They try. They take things seriously.  Yes: perhaps they failed and they changed course. While you might think they are cool as a cucumber, they probably felt they had no idea what they were doing.  They fought with their bosses and co-workers.  They faked it until they made it.  But one thing is for sure: they don’t keep making excuses about how they’ll figure it out when they turn thirty. They set the tone for the rest of their lives in their twenties.

As Dr. Meg Jay says – the marriage, baby, job, house and life you want at 35 or 40 may be totally impossible unless you get started in your twenties. Your twenties truly is a defining decade.

Stop saying “it’s OK, I can hook up with this guy now, it’s not like I’m going to marry him!” Seriously, stop wasting your time on losers and stop fooling yourself.

I know some people feel strongly that one’s twenties is a time of total freedom and exploration. I get it. And yeah, the real world can be “boring.”  But is sitting on the bench for ten years that great of an idea?

I’ve been in some heated debates about this topic since reading the book, and I welcome an open discussion here as well.  Check out Dr. Meg Jay’s Ted Talk below and let me know what you think in the comments section.

In my opinion, if there’s one book you read in your twenties, this is it.

PS- I turn 29 on Monday.  For some reason I feel a huge responsibility of how I handle the last year of my twenties. Who made up this 30 benchmark and why does it feel like such a defining age? I will be doing a few posts about what it feels like going into year 29.  Stay tuned.


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