When I first started my career (a whole year and a half ago) I was 23 and began working at an ad-agency in a department that housed mostly 20-somethings much like me. My co-workers were fantastic; working with people close in age, most of them living in the same city as you and going through the same transitions as you is extremely comforting.
After 8 months I felt like I needed to learn more than that company was allowing me. I ended up accepting a position at another agency. After my first day, I realized I was the youngest in my department by at least 8 years. It was intimidating. I was the youngest, newest, and least experienced, and I wasn’t sure I made the best move. A few months later, not only have I learned an enormous amount industry-wise, but personally as well.
1. Parents are modern-day super heroes.
You want to see a bad bitch? It’s definitely not the Carrie Bradshaws of the world. It’s these women I work with. The moms that wake up at 5am to shower, put on makeup, do their hair, do their kid’s hair, prep something for dinner, kill it in their careers, keep their family functioning, and all without losing their cool. I complain about waking up at 7:30 with hardly enough time to grab coffee and brush my hair. These moms and dads are on the clock 24/7, and I have never heard them use their families or children as an excuse.
2. Don’t get discouraged about dating in your 20s.
I love talking to my single co-workers about dating. Not only do I get to give them a Tinder 101, but they get to give me some pretty solid advice. Although society (and our Facebook newsfeed) has us thinking that we are falling behind by being 24 and single, that is really not the case. My older co-workers have assured me that as we get older; dating becomes less grey and more black and white. Men actually begin to know what they want, and have their shit together. And if all else fails, there is match.com. I can name numerous co-workers who found their significant other on match.com.
3. Immerse yourself into goals that you want to achieve now, because you might not have the time later.
I’ve always made time in my schedule to work out regularly, as most people my age do. I love the progress you see in yourself after you become determined to work out regularly. I have always had the goal of pushing myself to my fitness limits, but I find myself making excuses for why I haven’t done it yet.
My co-workers will often comment on how healthily I eat and how much I am at the gym, and how they used to do the same when they were my age. People my age have free time, even when we complain that we don’t. We don’t have a family, a house to keep in order, or kids to look after. All I have to do is go to work and feed my cat. So, when I want to tell myself “Eh, I’ll go to the gym tomorrow” I try to remember what a waste it will be for me to turn 40 and never see the full potential my body was able to reach when I was young. I have the free time now, I should do it now.
4. I don’t know everything, yet.
There is something humbling about being the youngest in an office. Everyone around me has years of knowledge that I haven’t begun to touch yet. They know where they are at in life, but they haven’t forgotten that I might not be there yet. Everyone is willing to tell you what they wish someone would have told them. You are always in the right environment to learn something new.