The New Young Professional

I have been perusing LinkedIn articles for weeks. Among these, what has caught my attention is the lessons of high-level professionals, including tips on how Gen Y needs to get its act together and not feel so entitled.  Oh wise generations before me, I am doing my best and I want to do everything I can to apply your wisdom. I have made many of the mistakes you have mentioned about my generation. I take all of your advice into account, and only try to move forward after so many failures.

However, could you please help me understand how to navigate the type of world we are living in? I know that the good times were all in your days. People actually had real relationships, were able to make solid decisions with whatever they had and valued stability. I know you probably could not see all of the information overload coming, but please do not doom my generation to becoming mindless, sad, and dejected. We want some level of the things you valued and still value, but we now live in a world that has forced us to be okay with instability. In fact we are now taught to embrace it, but let’s be real, instability is extremely tiring and will not make it easy to reach the fulfillment and peace of mind we need.

In my early 20s, it was not called instability.  It was called adventure and living it up.  

I still find it very exciting to talk about my crazy traveling stories from my early 20s, of the amazing people I met, and the things I learned. I have been extremely lucky with those opportunities. Many of my peers were wrestling through the corporate world, being torn apart, soul-sucked, while I in many ways pursued a passion both professionally and personally. I channeled my passion for humanity and traveling into a career in global public health and policy through my masters program, endlessly pursuing opportunities to continually “internationalize” during that time – even when they were not in the form of a neat path.

We now live in an age where our 20-somethings peers have accomplished so much by 30. We have the 30 under 30 and some of our friends living the high life in high rise buildings on six figure salaries by the age of 26.  I cannot offer the experience that goes into becoming such a person, and I never may be that person.   What I can offer is the journey of a late 20-something (soon to be out of that category) who remains hungry for information to make it somewhere big.

Well, where is big?

No, I am not talking about what managerial roles I aspire to reach in my field or creating my own organization or business (it would probably be great to write that down on paper, though). I am not talking about finding the right person to settle down with, buying a house or small apartment and making sure I do not wait too long in neglecting the calling of my biological clock (or maybe not really hearing the calling at all).

I am talking about accomplishing full resilience to difficult situations and changing the way I understand success.

Bottom Line: I may not be anywhere near close to “having it all”. I continue to suffer from extreme wanderlust (except now I realize the importance of a home base).  For the record, I am everything impressive on a resume – two masters degrees with some experience under my belt, and living in a promising city like Washington, DC.  Yet, even when I did that, I am still at a crossroads of instability.  The irony is that I was finally seeking a little bit of stability in the past year only for it to come crashing down so quickly.  Universe, what are you seriously trying to say? Maybe, this is part of my wanderluster journey and personality – beyond just the very obvious display of travel.