Opening Your Window of Opportunity in Your 20s
There are critical times in YOUR personal development when windows of opportunity open for growth, and like all windows, once they are shut you can only ever be a silent observer watching the world go by.
One such critical time is your 20s.
Here are some facts about your 3rd decade of life, taken from ‘The Defining Decade’ by Meg Jay.
These facts will give you great reasons for opening your window of opportunity in your 20s
‘Two-thirds of your lifetime wage growth happens in the first ten years of a career’.
What does this mean? Well it means that your 20s are the best time to establish your earning potential.
Things get a bit tricky for women when children enter the mix. Not only will you find your boss being reluctant to reward you with promotion because he/she thinks you have divided loyalties but you may also find that your desire to climb the career ladder is hindered by tiredness and the weight of responsibility that comes with parenting.
And for any of you who are thinking that you do not want children, many of us with families thought that too and then our hormones kicked in around the age of 27 and survival of the species took over!
So, opening your window of opportunity in your 20s here gives you permission to decide how best to tackle your earning potential.
‘More than half of us are married, or dating, or living with our future partner…’.
As a 50-something I look back and think ‘what was the hurry?’ I was married at 24 and at the time it felt like time was running out.
Of course, now, I know that it was biological time that was ticking away inside me and causing me to stay in a relationship mainly because I had already invested 2 and a half years in it.
So I got married when it would have been better not to and it wasn’t until the age of 46 that I eventually found THE man for me!
This phenomenon is called ‘Sliding, Not Deciding’ (page 92 of The Defining Decade) and means that you slide from dating to living together and then marriage rather than actively deciding this is what you want to do with your life. It just happens, regardless of whether this person is really right for you!
Opening your window of opportunity in your 20s here positively encourages you to put some thought to your future relationships.
‘Personality changes more during our twenties than at any time before or after’.
So with each decision you make, realise that you may see things differently in a few months’ time. If you are feeling strongly about something now you may or may not feel the same this time next year.
The trick is to move forward with purpose but not to hem yourself in. Work towards your goals without burning any bridges and in this way you will build flexibility into your life which will enable you to roll with the changes in your personality.
Opening your window of opportunity in your 20s here enables you to think about the type of person you want to be.
‘Fertility peaks in our late twenties and early thirties’.
There is such a lot of talk about women having it all but that is just a myth. None of you are superwoman…you can’t do everything at once and realistically if we are focused on one thing we are neglecting something else.
So focusing on your career and putting off having children when everything else is in place is probably not the best life choice if you want to have a family. You run the risk of not having children at all or at the very least having difficulty conceiving.
But for those of you who either do not feel the pull of motherhood or feel it but do not have a settled enough life to go ahead, NOW is an excellent time to concentrate on your career! The more you achieve now the less ground you will have to make up after you’ve had your family.
Opening your window of opportunity in your 20s here helps you to plan your future family.
‘Our social networks and the opportunities they bring are widest and most diverse in our twenties and narrow as we age’
So what does this mean to you? Well on one level it could mean that there is the potential to waste a whole lot of time on social networking. How much time would you say you spend on social media just reading posts and making posts without any intention other than to interact with others?
Could you make some of your time on social media more purposeful by joining a forum that you can learn new skills from? Could you make your networking more purposeful by interacting with people that could help you get a new job?
Opening your window of opportunity in your 20s here widens your scope for using social media.
Your biggest opportunity with this is NOW, so why not take advantage of this.
You could do this today by joining my Facebook Group:
Through Meg Jay’s work with 20-somethings we know that…
Your 20s are the best time to establish your earning potential.
There is a danger of ‘sliding, not deciding’ rather than being honest about your relationship.
Being flexible in your decision making and not burning bridges will allow for changes in your personality.
Women can’t have it all so it is important to be strategic when planning career and family.
Your 20s is a great time to use your social networks with purpose.
If you are thinking ‘that all that sounds great but HOW do I do it?’ don’t worry…
I have a cheat-sheet for you that will tell you just that!
Don’t leave your TWENTIES to a roll of the dice!