I watched a psychologist Dr. Meg Jay talk about the development of young adults. I was impressed with her approach. Since some of you are in your 20’s and others are you know people you can nfluence in their 20’s, it’s a talk worth hearing:
In case you don’t listen, let me share a few of her insights:
Claim your adulthood: these days, some leaving high school delay the things of adulthood. They justify the delay with the concept that the rest of their life is a long time. They don’t mind delaying adulthood by prolonging childhood. Dr. Jay regards delaying the transition to adulthood as a wasted opportunity. Adulthood is something to be embraced.
Get some identity capability: Part of embracing adulthood is developing skills, acquiring experiences and building relationships which prepare you for the opportunities that can come your way. She says that anything you take on as an adult should have an agenda of development.
Use your “loose ties”: She notes that people delaying adulthood tend to cluster together. In the cluster, experiences are limited and networks are small. She notes that many opportunities come from “loose ties”: friends of friends, adults from the neighborhood, acquaintances. These loose ties are those who know about the opportunities before they are posted. They are the ones doing the hiring.
Pick your family: She notes how young people delay the onset of family. She says that many end up in relationships by default as compared to choice. Her insight here: “The best time to work on your marriage is before you marry”. I heard it once said that people who marry successfully work hard at being like the person they want to marry.
As I listened to the talk, I reflected upon how things have gone for me the last 40 years.
I embraced adulthood. Mostly because I didn’t have a choice.
I added skills and experiences every step of the way that helped me to the next job.
Loose ties have made a difference in the team’s I’ve joined and those I helped to build.
I got married and have remained so. I could have been wiser in preparation.
All in all, her strategies hold water. I’d recommend you put them to use.