You're almost 30? You must have a lot of wisdom about how to navigate your 20s! What is the biggest lesson you learned about being in your 20s? If you were giving advice to people in their 20s, what would 3 things you would advise? What are you looking forward to most about your 30s?
I appreciate the sentiment, but I still feel like I’m figuring stuff out! And I’m not exactly looking forward to anything in my 30s yet. My future seems so invisible to me still. All I am looking forward to is my career, really, and maybe buying a house someday. Being 28, I feel as though I’m not far enough away from any of those invisible mistakes or beneficial choices I’ve made to know that I’ve even made them. Perhaps these are questions for someone much wiser than me. (See: Ted Talk at the bottom of this post!)
But I can say this: taking up an internship when I was 21 was one of the best things I did to get me where I am now in my career. It wasn’t my dream internship– I was a generalist and it was unpaid– but it ended up being an essential first step on my path toward my dream job.
I would say when you’re in your 20’s, try not to be discouraged if your first internship or job is doing something that may not be your dream job. Because every job you take, and every person you work with, is another connection made and another potential step up to where you want to be. Just don’t settle if you’re unhappy. You have so much agency now that you’re a young adult; you can make your own choices and your future can be anything. I have to remind myself of this sometimes, too.
- Try to get an internship, even if it’s not your “dream job.” Getting your foot in the door is just as good for a first step.
- Fail early, fail often. The earlier you fail the better off you’ll be later on, and the more motivated you’ll be to step up your game. Don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace it and let it fuel you.
- As Meg Jay says in her Ted Talk, invest in Identity Capital…basically invest in things that will make you who you want to be next.
If you’re in your 20’s and looking to get some really great advice, please watch her Ted talk, here: