I'm turning 26 in about a month (!) and it's recently hit me that I've been out of college for over 4 years now.
The last 4 years has been quite tumultuous, with lots of ups and downs, uncertainties, career changes and moving around. Though things are still quite uncertain right now, I wanted to write some thoughts that had inspired me after reading this article.
First off all, when I look at the course of my career (and observations from my friends careers), the common theme of post-college graduation life was that we all wanted to accomplish big things. We all had big dreams and ideas that popped up in the back of our minds of what we "wanted to do when we grow up." I've had many friends who wanted to go to law school, dental school, pharmacy school, business school, art school -- "the world was our oyster" as some would say.
While some end up taking actions towards pursuing their dreams, others kept their dreams on pause and it eventually fizzled up, as daily life duties, school rejections or money problems kept them preoccupied and content. Others keep delaying because of timing (but really, when IS the right timing?). It was clear who was a "say-er" versus "do-er". For those that are currently in pursuit of their 22year old dream (or any life goal in general), I'm so proud of them for going to seek it out. For those who gave up on chasing dreams altogether, it frightens me to see a generation with so much potential lose their drive and ability to do so much more.
All in all, I completely understand that it's easy to choose a life of stability and contentment. I've been told to "take it easy" and tune down my Type A personality (lol, psh yeah right. can't help it- It's the INFJ in me). But, I'm a firm believer that NOW really is the best time to set your foundation for your future career and to stop making excuses. It's so much more difficult to try and juggle your education goals when trying to juggle raising a family, mortgage, etc. It's also much harder to work to that ideal dream job/dream company if contentment just keeps weighing you down.
When I was 23, I read The Defining Decade and the statistics around how our 20's really matter completely it kicked me in the butt. Especially the part about how the first 10 years of a career have an exponential impact on ultimate earnings. Reality check: I'm halfway through my first 10 years of my career, and I really don't want to stagnate.