Monday, May 20, 2013

Four questions to make your 20s count

"The 30s are the new 20s." Perhaps this is a statement that you are familiar with...maybe one that you take refuge in. For some reason - possibly in response to a delay in societal milestones or the fact that people are living longer - there is a new tendency to consider the 20s a decade that "doesn't count;" an extension of adolescence.

This, according to Meg Jay's white-hot TED talk, is dangerous. And we are doing 20-somethings a disservice by perpetuating this belief, one that fails to recognize the 20s as a "developmental sweet-spot" with significant consequences in terms of one's personal life and career. 

If you are a 20-something reading this or have one in your life, allow yourself/themselves to spend some time with these questions to open up clarity and purpose in their professional lives:

Who am I becoming as a professional? This question gets to the heart of your choices, actions, and state of being. It forces you to consider how what you are doing now is molding you for the future. When you answer this question, how does the response make you feel? Pay attention to these emotions and feelings; they can guide you to new areas of growth and exploration.

What am I willing/unwilling to change? When I work with clients, there is inevitably a hesitancy on their part to truly stand in the career decisions they make and the professionals that they want to become. This question asks - with openness and authenticity - what you will and will not compromise on, and to own it with genuineness and confidence.

What is the decision I have been avoiding? A great question to hone in on those decisions that you know would be best for you but you struggle following through on. Why are you struggling? What is the cost of avoiding this decision? More strong questions to provide clarity for your career.

What legacy do I want to leave? Our time is impermanent and this question gets at the heart of how we want others to benefit from the work that we put in while we were here.

Your 20s are an incredible time of career growth and intentional life-exploration. Sit with these questions and claim your 20s for the important and substantive time that they are. 

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