What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? Here 40-somethings share three wishes to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda.
1. Everyday thankfulness. Stop once a day and be thankful. Once a day I say thank you. It’s usually walking down the street. If something catches me I look at it and say, “You know what, thank you.” Be appreciative. It makes you feel good about yourself. It’s the same as “doing” for others. It’s so important to give back.
2. Earned respect. If you get an opportunity that you don’t feel ready for….go for it. And then work hard. Really hard. It happened to me in my twenties, when I first started and someone left the company I was working for unexpectedly. it made me work harder. I was definitely thinking, “OMG, I’m sitting at the table and I’m the only woman. Here am I, twenty years old. They’re all forty plus and I can tell they’re thinking. “You’re taking direction from her?” But I did a great job. I decided I would work 7 days a week if I had to. I was eager to make it happen. Failure was not an option for me. I’m going to be a excellent at this. I will earn their respect.
I asked for a lot of help. I educated myself. I wasn’t scared to ask questions. I wasn’t scared to sit down with the chairman and the president and say “How am I doing? Give me an evaluation. What do I need to do?” And really help advise me and learn from them because they’ve been doing it for years.
3. A mid-life crisis. Don’t be afraid of a mid-life crisis whether it happens in your mid-twenites, mid-thirties or mid-forties. I have reinvented 2-3 times. Right now, I feel like I need growth. I don’t see the upward mobility and I’m too young to just say, “This is it.” I don’t know what my next step will be right now but I am exploring. I’m like at a pivotal point in my life. I want something more. I feel like stagnant where I am in my career. There is no limitation and it’s really up to me. If you choose to not go anywhere with it that is your choice but the potential is there.
– 40-something, founded a charity, owner/director of an architect firm, works in high end furniture, interior design, New York, tri-state area