The Most Empowering Thing You Can Do As A 20-Something Woman
In our 20s, we often spend a lot of time searching for the things and people that are "right" for us. Friendships can change or disappear after college. Boyfriends and lovers come into and go out of our lives. Job opportunities appear and dissolve. All of us are on a quest during the third decade of our lives to find our place and community.
Friendships are a truly integral part of life in general. The people we choose to surround ourselves with we also draw inspiration and support from. Our friends become like an extended family for us. Unfortunately, some of these friendships are destined to dissolve.
Similarly, romantic relationships also come and go. Neither type of relationship should define who you are or what your future will look like. You can’t weigh your happiness on whether you’re in a relationship or not and what you’re getting out of your relationship.
However, there is one place in your life you do have control over, that will provide a solid and reliable backbone to your identity. It's your career. But I know that finding the right career is definitely not easy.
During the course of my late teens and 20s, my career goals shifted or disappeared just about as often as the wind changes directions. It’s surprising how far off the seemingly right path we can get. For so many of us, the job that started out as an internship or that a family friend secured for us that we simply went along with (albeit ambivalently) becomes what we spend the majority of our days doing. Perhaps we think that at some point down the road things will click and really start working for us, but that's a bit far-fetched.
When it comes to work or a job, you should truly be interested in what you're doing. I’ve bounced around different jobs for years, searching for my niche. But it wasn't until about a year ago when I started yet another new job that I really felt like things clicked. I was finally doing what I loved. Since then, I have molded my career path around being in a position where I can do the things I enjoy.
As young women, I think we sometimes undervalue how important a job is to our identity without realizing how confident it can make us feel. You know those women who just ooze confidence? I believe that's a result of many things at play, but one of them is that they derive power and fulfillment from their work. Taking ownership of what you do or the steps to find and create the right career gives you a heightened sense of empowerment, pride, confidence, and drive. That is something that no one else can give to you.
I think that if someone gives you a career you’re not actively seeking or you’re not completely impassioned by, you’ll lose interest. However, if it’s something you’ve created, and you're the one hustling to make it happen ... you own that path. That's when you know it's truly yours.
So don’t let someone else’s idea of success become your idea of success. Just because it may be a good fit for your lifestyle at the time or looks good in your bank account, it doesn't mean that it is good for you in general. To quote my father, "Do the thing you love; money will follow."
Remember, it's OK to feel lost sometimes. There are only a few lucky people who know what they want to do and how to do it at a young age. But it is important to find your "thing," outside of relationships as soon as you can. Be fueled by what you are passionate about, create something you love, and accept help where it's offered.
Ready to turn your passion into a career?