TED Talk: Why 30 is not the new 20

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine this morning and she told me about this really interesting TED Talk she had watched about “Why 30 is not the new 20″. She warned me that after watching this video, I might feel a greater urgency to get going on defining my twenties.

For anybody who is in their twenties or knows somebody in their twenties. Watch this video! I took 3 pages of notes from this 14 minute talk and I think the ideas are incredibly relevant.

Here are a few of the key ideas I took away from this TED Talk:

  •  People have this misconception that everything is happening later on in life and so twenty somethings have more time to explore than previous generations.
  •  “Claiming your twenties is one of the most transformative things you can do for your life.
  •  “80% of life’s defining moments happen before you are 35. Therefore 80% of your defining experiences and epiphanies happen before your mid thirties.”
  •  “The first 10 years of a career have an exponential impact on how much you are going to earn over the life of your career”.
  • “Your brain goes through its last grown spurt in your twenties, rewiring itself to adulthood. So whatever you want to change about, now is the time to do it.”
  • ” Forget about having an identity crisis and start getting some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are or who you want to be.”
  • “New things come from weak ties. Expand outside of your network of friends and explore what’s out there”.
  • “The time to start picking your family is now.”
  • “One good conversation can have an enormous impact on the rest of your life.”
  • “Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”

As a person in his twenties, I’ve often felt an intense sense of urgency about figuring out my career early on in life. Many of my friends have told me that I have time and that I can start in my thirties but I’ve never taken that advice to heart. I agree with a lot of what Meg Jay is saying in this TED Talk and I believe that too many twenty somethings feel that they don’t really need to get serious until they are 30.

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my career, trying to figure out what my end goal will be. The one seed that this video planted in my head is that I should take more risks with my career. As Meg says, “Now is the time to move cross country or work for that startup.” I often get stuck trying to have all the answer at once but I think the way around that is to try many things out until I find the job/project/business that I want to get involved in.

I’m definitely going to spend the next little while figuring out how I can claim my twenties. If you are in your twenties, I highly encourage you to do the same!

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  1. Another aspect to get going on in the 20’s is finances. You can save meaningful amounts of money, even if your salary isn’t the greatest. Doing so consistently will open up a number of options in the 20’s and after. Working with clients in the investment field, we are seeing more twenty-somethings being proactive along these lines.

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