“To accept life in its disjointed pieces is an adult experience of freedom, but still these pieces must lodge and embed themselves somewhere, hopefully in a place that allows them to grow and endure.” – Richard Sennett, sociologist
Nothing will test you more than learning how to live life on your own. To battle fear, escape pain, and defeat doubt while learning how to fully love ourselves is a measurement of growth.
Growing up, despite all the ways you’d imagined your life would have panned out, can be one of the most painful processes. As adults in our twenties, being faced with the penetrating questions of adulthood feels, “idle, disconnected, and unworthy of consideration.” Why think about the next 15 years and the choices that could be created from planning and orienting yourself to success? A life of infinite possibilities at the ripe age of 23 can feel disorienting and overwhelming. When individuals think about moving toward a career they love the typical exclamation is of disillusionment, “why would I want to work in a boring office with a typical 9 to five.” Like many individuals in their mid to early twenties, their tyranny is not within the process of creation, their tyranny is in the process of painfully ignoring the truth of growing older. Getting off of a beaten path and understanding what you don’t want to do in your twenties is normal, but leaning into the discomfort and searching for something you do want to do could lead to a life of endless possibilities. The problem is: if we aren’t actively searching for who we are, what we are and who we could be in our twenties then our thirties are going to be one rocky hell of a ride. For instance, in the book, “The Defining Decade,” psychologist, Meg Jay, PhD. writes, about a client who states, “At this point in my life, if I’m going to work and pay for child care and be away from my kids all day, I need to the work to be interesting and well paid. But I can’t get that sort of job. In my twenties, I didn’t really deal with what I was going to do about work. In my thirties, I had kids. We need the money and I have to work. But you wouldn’t believe the jobs I can’t even get. I go for jobs and people just look at me like, “Why haven’t you done something by now? I wish someone had told me to think about my resume a long time ago.”
How to Do We Take Accountability in Our Twenties Before it is Too Late?
In our twenties our dreams mean everything. We have to customize, create, and develop a life that is unique to who we are or we will easily forgo a life that we feel passionate about. When it comes to developing yourself as a twenty-something and getting that coveted spot, job or position crafting your why is essential to persuading individuals to see your worth. Establishing a professional identity begins with claiming our interests and talents, and then developing a narrative about why those interests and talents make us somehow essential. These narratives can be carried with us on dates, coffee interviews, or shaking the hands of important people. The story of you, the brevity of you, is what cultivates a description of the past, present, and future. How does the complexity of your worth relate to what you do every day? Who do you want to be and who are you striving to become this?
Committing to your story, to your purpose in life, despite setbacks, roadblocks, and getting off the beaten path demonstrates more than skills that can be developed on the job. They demonstrate life experience and deep awareness about oneself and how they can bring those unique experiences to impact the development of the organization. A job is a decision; a career is an internal reckoning of who you are.