20(ish) Reasons Why I Think The ’20 Things 20 Year Olds Don’t Get Article’ is Stupid

jenlaw

So for a hot minute I remember seeing this article pop up all over my Facebook news feed.  When I decided to read it, I was pretty surprised at how crappy it was, and even more surprised that my college friends were spreading it around. Being the target of this article, I know that I am not rich, or crazy smart, or powerful…and that there are plenty of things that I really don’t get. But I do think that this article, crappy or not, speaks to a very specific type of 20 year old.

I went to college a hop, skip and a jump away from the start up capital of the world. I lived in the bay area for almost 5 years, watching people my age make shitty money working long hours for the potential of selling a website or app. I understand that new tech companies, websites and apps come out every day- and that kids my age are making it happen. I think that’s great- but I also think that there is no guidebook to success, no black and white rules on how to reach the top, and I definitely think that there is so much more out there to feed our young souls than an article that teaches you what you “don’t get”.

And that, my friends, is why I compiled roughly 20 reasons about why I “don’t get” this article.

1. “Time is Not a Limitless Commodity”- What a great way to start an article! Telling young, eager, fresh faced college grads that they’re running out of time. You know what I think? Give yourself a year, hell two, to work a bullshit job, travel, get a credit card, and say ‘FUCK IT I’m finding my way’. Having a “heightened sense of urgency to take it to the next level” sounds like a great way to get bags under your eyes and miss out on…oh, I don’t know, being young? I think your twenties are the perfect time to TRY! Now is the time to experience new things and make some mistakes. You’re young enough to bounce back and learn and THAT is a beautiful thing.

2. “You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated”- First of all, fuck you Jason Nazar, because we are all talented. Here’s something you should do in your twenties: don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle. Be proud of being part of the “capable, creative, knowledgeable and multitasking generation”. This tip sounds like an advertisement for the army. And I’ll take the “Give You a Sh-t Medal”, thanks!

3. “We’re More Productive in the Morning”- I do think this is true, but let’s be honest, it’s not that brilliant of an observation. I can’t speak for my entire age group here but if you were anything like me, you worked your ass off in college, partied hard, and scraped by at some shitty restaurant or bar until 3 AM to pay your bills. You didn’t give a flying fuck what time you were most productive, you just wanted to survive. Here’s one thing that Jason Nazar doesn’t get: 20 year olds like to sleep. I don’t know how much time you spend with your grandparents, but they get up EARLY. So don’t fret, you can be at your productivity peak later. Oh but wait! Time is not limitless…I forgot. Shit.

4. “Social Media is Not a Career”- HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH can someone please call Mark Zuckerburg and let him know this

5. “Pick Up the Phone” – This one is weird. Who isn’t using the phone? I’d say about 90% of my clients talk to me on the phone for four seconds and then tell me they’ll email me everything else. You best believe that they are making a lot more money than I am.

6. “Be the First In & Last to Leave”- I HATE THIS ONE. Maybe it’s because my life long dream has never been to work in corporate America, but I think that this is horrible advice. No one will think you’re a good worker, they’ll just take advantage of you. There is nothing desirable about being an exhausted workaholic. Leave at 5. Leave when your shift ends. Whatever. Get a margarita.There are plenty of studies that show how unproductive humans become after 2 PM. I’m one of them. I don’t see any benefit in spending your entire day at your job. ESPECIALLY when you’re in your 20’s.

7. “Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do”- I agree with this one.

8. “Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes”- This one, too.

9. “You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked”-  Um, did this guy even see The Devil Wears Prada? How is running around town doing personal errands and being called the wrong name at your job valuable to your career? I’m sorry, but if you have a boss that asks you for an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript, I don’t care if you’re 25 or 55- you should bail!! There’s a difference between demanding excellence and treating someone like a bitch dog. I think a valuable boss would want you to succeed in your own field of interest, not just theirs.

10. “A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing”- I’m on the fence about this. I don’t think you should bop around every month, but I am a believer in doing what makes you happy. I’m also a big fan of sampling many flavors. The other day on Craigslist I realized that I could search under: admin, education, food and hospitality, nonprofit, retail, and writing. Granted, the only one I’m a boss at is food; I can host the shit out of any restaurant. And I know, I know, jack of all trades, master of none…regardless, you should be able to change your career, change your path, change your goals, etc. whenever you please. And if you actually DID watch The Devil Wears Prada, she only stays at the job for a year. Just saying.

11. “People Matter More Than Perks”- I have no idea why he thinks 20 year olds would get on board with this. Hmmm, looking for a job…student loans up the ass…a shitty apartment…no healthcare….I didn’t come to work to make friends. I’ll take the perks. THANKS.

12. “Map Effort to Your Professional Gain”- Sure, why not.

13. “Speak Up, Not Out”- I agree with this, not only in a work environment, but in everyday life as well. I also think, however, that if you’re twenty-something and attempting to start a career, you should probably just shut the hell up all together. At least at the beginning.

14. “You HAVE to Build You Technical Chops”- Ok, maybe I didn’t see the footnote that said “this article is for douchey nerdboys who like a cubicle lifestyle and no human contact”. Give me a break, not all of us want to live like that. We are in a technical age, I agree, but I believe that it is much more important to work on your skills away from the computer. I have a very good tech-savvy friend who works for Google and is killing it! I also have a friend who is a dance teacher that can barely use email and works about 4 hours every day. Guess who comes home in a better mood each day?

15. “Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter”- In other words, how much ass are you willing to kiss? How well connected are you to stuck up rich people that can give you a job? Sounds fun.

16. “You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors”- Everyone and their mother knows you should have three professional references on your resume. Shut up, Jason.

17. “Pick An Idol & Act ‘As If’- My idols are Lisa Vanderpump and J.Lo. I’m on my way!

18. “Read More Books”- OBVIOUSLY.

19. “Spend 25% Less Than You Make”- My eyes glaze over whenever I read this one because there are numbers and percentage signs but yeah whatever, spend wisely.

20. “Your Reputation is Priceless”- I THINK WE ALL KNOW NOT TO POST NUDES ON THE INTERNET.

Call me a free spirit, hippie, lazy, whatever…I think that our generation should be proud of our diversity, creativity and uniqueness. I think you should make more time for your friends and family. I think you should have lots of (safe) sex while you’re young enough and hot enough. You should probably work in a restaurant or retail so you know how to treat people better, but don’t spend you 20’s letting someone from Forbes tell you what you do and don’t understand.

I’m working on my own little article called “20 Reasons 20 Year Olds Kick Ass”. Maybe we can blow that one up on Facebook too. (:

 

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