I have 4 years to go to 30 and last night came across a Ted Talk by Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Meg Jay, which was addressed to us “narcissistic and dying to be famous” twenty-somethings.

I heard the words, “your twenties are not a developmental downtime, but rather a developmental sweet spot”, I instantly sat up and increased the volume. Not because I haven’t heard or read something similar, always with the aim of readying or pushing us for life beyond 30, but because I was curious on what this Clinical Psychologist’s take was on a subject that has been so widely covered, and I guess more so, because I fall within this group.

I was right to pay attention. She had gems that I had to share.

As I was listening, my immediate reaction was to tweet it all away because I felt that the lid had been blown off a very valuable secret that all my peers had to know about at once.

3 things:

ONE: Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next.

TWO: The urban tribe is overrated. This basically means that when it comes to your career development, it’s likely that a stranger will help you more than your best friend would.  She cites a famous social networking study conducted by Stanford professor, Mark Granovetter, who found that “weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong.”

THREE: The time to start picking your family is now. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one. Be as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about constantly choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you at the time.

Basically, my fellow twenty-somethings , if you’re living in some paradise with the idea that your 20s are a kind of prolonged adolescence, get rid of that thinking now. Don’t get to 30 and think to yourself, “My twenties are almost over and I have nothing to show for myself.”

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