It’s shocking to say, but at 31, I’m considered middle-age by Capitol Hill standards. Nearly every meeting I take is with a staffer significantly younger than myself. And recently, I’ve started meeting with Congressmen and candidates who are also my age. I didn’t expect to feel “old” in my early 30s, but I do.
The thing that triggers this aged anxiety more than anything is trying to interact with the younger people who I work with and supervise. Sometimes, the generation gap feels more like a Mariana’s Trench-size chasm. Perhaps that’s why this Forbes article, 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get, resonated with me. (There’s good advice in here for employees of any age.)
Granted there were plenty of things that I did not “get” in my twenties. No one is immune from having to learn lessons the hard way, and with age comes perspective (hopefully). But one of the things I’ve noticed about many of the mid-twenty somethings I know–even hard working ones–is that they are writing off their 20s.
“30 is the new 20” is a phrase that I have heard ad nauseum. Many seem to be content not to challenge themselves or take risks or strive because they’ll have time later. But “later” arrives a lot faster than you think, so I wanted to take a moment to share this TED talk from Meg Jay about what she calls The Defining Decade.
It’s definitely a must watch for anyone in their 20s, and beyond.