This is a Young Professional Advice from Friends post written by Lindsay Shoemake at That Working Girl. YPAF is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting off and being twenty.
Young Professional Advice From Friends – Lindsay Shoemake
Your twenties. The movies depict them as that magical time in your life when you’re walking down Madison Avenue to your own theme song, your hair looks perfect, you’ve nailed your dream job, and when it comes to dating? The men just can’t get enough of you. However, life honestly doesn’t work that way for us twenties-somethings.
As I sat at company happy hour yesterday afternoon, my boss mentioned something that stuck with me. She said, “Your twenties are the best-worst time of your life. You’re figuring yourself out and you’re growing, but nothing feels quite permanent.” And that, ladies and gentleman, hits the nail on the head.
Although I’m greatly leaning toward loving my twenties rather than loathing them, each and every day still consists of a lesson to be learned.
So far, I’ve tasted a lot of success, and I have to be grateful for it! For starters, I run a successful blog, That Working Girl, along with my two stellar interns, Catia and Stephanie. As a three-person team, we do a heck of a lot, and we have fun doing it. Running a blog is a ton of work, but it’s gratifying seeing how readers relate and respond – and when companies want to send you free samples! I also intern for one of the best PR firms in Atlanta (and I’d argue on the East Coast), Caren West PR. I’m living the life I dreamed of since I was a little girl, ogling the Atlanta skyline when my parents decided to take me into the city. I would always turn to my little sister in the car and say, “Look, we’re in ‘magic town,’” and now I’m living in it. Now that is truly magical.
However, it wouldn’t be your twenties without a little hardship and disappointment. After applying to 40+ internships in New York City and not landing a single interview, I’ve dealt with feelings of rejection from the one place I can’t get enough of. I had a blueprint for my life that I’ve had to completely scrap – I’m working from the ground up again, but I know there’s a rhyme and reason behind it. I’ve learned to turn criticism and disappointment into opportunities for growth with a lot of practice. I still get sad when I think of New York, but I remind myself that it will always be there waiting for me, if I just work hard enough and make the key connections.
So, a little advice for all of you fellow hard-working twenty-somethings out there? When opportunities don’t work out, don’t get down on yourself – we’re too young not to come across a second chance, or something even better. I’m a firm believer that doors are closed only for new ones to open, because I’ve experienced it time and time again.
Also, don’t expect your first job to be your dream job and where you truly flourish. Sure, it may happen for a few lucky ones, but look at job switches as stepping-stones when they happen. As you grow, your taste in work will change.
Most of all, have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously! When you quit smiling, you quit growing and enjoying all that life has to offer. When you feel the seriousness coming on, go grab yourself an iced coffee and watch re-runs of “Seinfeld.” I assure you, it works every time.
Lindsay Shoemake is a creative visionary, blogger and “PR girl” living in Atlanta. When she isn’t blogging at That Working Girl or interning at Caren West PR, you can find her perusing new coffee shops, cuddling her Pekingese, Lily, or living full-out at a Fall Out Boy show (no shame). Catch more of Lindsay on Twitter, @VivaLaLindsay or Instagram.