Jocelyn’s Jottings: Birthdays, aging and careers

There was a birthday last week, and there is another this week in our office. 27 and 30.

As we groan and joke about how our peers are getting “old,” I can’t help but notice that it isn’t all just for fun.

There is a real smidgen of fear underneath all of it.

I must admit, I have it too. Time is flying these days and it feels like as the end of my 20s approaches, so does the end of the opportunity to do exciting things and build a life. I once read something along the lines of “in your 20s you cook the meal, in your 30s you enjoy it.”

But then what comes after that?

All of it is crap. We have somehow been programmed into believing that aging, the most natural of all process (really shouldn’t we just be lucky to be alive?) is a bad thing. It could in part be because younger women are regularly cast to play older women in movies, but the subliminal affects of the things we consume in pop culture is a discussion for a psychologist on another day.

So, to my two dear friends who celebrated birthdays: It’s not too late.

I read a lovely article in the Wall Street Journal the other day about how “it is never too late to start a brilliant career.”

It was a great boost for me and my aspirations around my career, so I want to share it with you as well. Basically, and I guess I should have known this already but my field definitely seems to value youth these days, our brains keep developing and most of us are more likely to come up with that amazing idea later in life.

According to the article the average age of a patent applicant in the U.S. is 47 years old.

Take a look at the article for yourself, very interesting stuff.

And for those of you who are rolling your eyes at me, that’s fine.

I’m aware I’m being silly, but I’m sharing this because I know for a fact I am not the only one who feels this way.

I’ve read many things about how if you don’t have direction in your 20s it will screw up the rest of your life. I think too much about how opportunities for jobs and “climbing the ladder” will affect my future career path, when all I really need to do is experiment and find what I am good at and build on that.

Easier said than done, but more hopeful than a boss saying “we need more 25 year olds.” Yes, a diverse office is good, but we are only 25 for a year…



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