Book Review - The Defining Decade

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hello all! I have been spending a little bit of my summer doing some reading. While I never seem to find the time to read during the summer months, I finally decided to sit my butt down on my cozy couch at nights and curl up to some nice and enjoyable reads. One book in particular that I have been reading is "The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter - and how to make the most of them now". This book spoke to me in ways I don't think many adults could. It told me that it was okay to be where I am in my life now, that it isn't me or my ever-growing work skills or contract jobs that is keeping me where I am, that I am not the only one that is going through it, and that it is all perfectly okay to feel the way I am feeling. If you are a twentysomething and find yourself in a quarter-life crisis, feeling like you are stuck right where you are, then this book is for you!
I landed a job in my field of study during my first year of graduate studies. At that time, I felt great to have been able to apply my knowledge while gaining work experience. This was a contract job and I knew that it wasn't going to last. But I still had high hopes that once my employer saw my collection of skills and my grad research thesis, they will for sure hire me full-time. After more than three and a half years of contract work, applying for many jobs and attending interviews with no job offers, I am still where I was. Before reading this book, I came to a point where I felt hopeless. I felt like my work experience combined with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree was worthless, like it didn't matter to employers. After my last interview with a great company but no job offer, I wanted to email them and ask what they were looking for exactly! I checked off everything they had asked for on their application and the interview was great. What was I missing!? I felt like I was behind, like everyone was moving in the fast lane while leaving their dust behind with me. After buying this book last month and reading it, I feel like what I am doing now is laying a good foundation for my future. I am not wasting my twenties working these contract jobs, working at underemployment type jobs, or partying every night. While I would like to be further both family- and career-wise than where I am currently, I am taking each day as a brick towards building my foundation.
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In her book, Dr. Meg Jay talks about the twentysomething years as being the foundation to your years ahead. Many times, she mentions that these years are not for wasting your time thinking that it will all fall into place once you hit 30, which is the perceived notion these days. Numerous times I hear people my age say "I will have my life figured out when I'm 30", "these are the best years of your life", and so on. However, Dr. Jay believes that these are the most important years.

Her book is organized into three sections: Work, Love, and The Brain and the Body. The chapters in all three sections use current psychological research, and examples from both her own twentysomething years as well as her clients to draw insight on current issues among twenty- and even thirtysomethings. The statement "30 is the new 20" is becoming a norm - work, relationships, and family are happening later than what our parent's experienced in their twenties. In this book, Dr. Jay tries to help twentysomethings, like myself, reclaim their twentysomething years. That these are not years meant to be wasted but rather spent creating a foundation for the rest of our lives.

Here is a snippet of what she talks about in her book!

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

This was not a sponsored post. I am in no way affiliated with Dr. Meg Jay or her book. I just wanted to share this book review with all my 20 and 30 something readers!

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