The young, the wise, the undiscovered
The 2013 TED conference just wrapped up, and this year’s theme was “The Young, the Wise, the Undiscovered.” We’re sure it will produce many an inspiring (and parodyable) 18 minute talk, but for now this one (as summarized in Forbes, as the talks aren’t online yet) caught our attention.
“University of Virginia clinical psychologist Meg Jay will get a ton of views once this Ted talk goes live. Her message to young professionals is simple: Don’t waste your 20s. Without a doubt, one’s 20s is “the most defining decade of adulthood,” a time when the brain is growing and the course of future work, income, relationships and happiness are set. Our 20s is when we find our careers, our life partners, our patterns for living. About two-thirds of lifetime wage growth is charted in the first 10 years of a career, she said. So what’s a 20something to do? Take the 20s seriously. “Invest in identity capital” — grad school, finding mentors, moving cross country for important jobs — that add value to career, friendship and family. Look beyond the “urban tribe” of friends and commiserating co-workers to a wider social network of opportunity-makers.As Jay so eloquently put it, “Twenty-somethings are like airplanes, just taking off from LAX heading for somewhere west. A slight change in course on takeoff is the difference between landing in Alaska or Fiji.”