We have just this one life to get a multitude of things accomplished at certain key stages in our lives. Once we have been set on the path of growth and maturity by our parents, backed by whatever we have learned in our youth, we arrive at the doorsteps of a career. From there on, it is a familiar story with some unexpected twists and turns which, if not anticipated, can leave you wishing you had a second chance. Here is what you can do to safeguard your life from regrets and what you can actually do with your time here on earth.
Move Out, Be Independent
By the time you are 30, it is important to have a sense of self reliance and the ability to look after ourselves is best tested by living on your own. If you have passed 30 and are still living in your parent’s house, there are but two words for you to ponder: move out. The limits of our existence are only realized when we are completely responsible for our own life. Living on your own will not only help you gain confidence that you can deal with whatever life chucks at you, it can also teach you the importance of saving up for a rainy day, the importance of rest and recreation as much as work and success for satisfaction and the importance of the smaller things in life like a smile or a nod exchanged with your neighbor can only be understood when we are conscious of the fact that we are completely responsible for our own lives and that is pretty much the way everyone is.
Get Organized, Get Sorted
Like it says on bumper stickers on cars, ‘If I was organized, I would be dangerous,” by the time you are in your 30s, you are expected to have yourself and your life fairly sorted out. While recklessness and impulsiveness might have governed your actions when you were bouncing from job to job in your 20s, it is expected that by your 30s, you should have gotten over your angst, escapism, abreactions to authority and the rules. This does not mean that you cannot, sometimes, break the rules because you consciously decide to. There are countless 20-something professionals who claim that there are no hard and fast rules any longer but wouldn’t like the philosophy they sprout to be applied to their salary and remuneration. No way; it’s okay by them if they use their ‘no-fixed-rules’ argument to cover the holes in the quality of their work but when it comes to something as basic as money, they tend to shift their stand. So, in short, you are expected to have the politics in your head well sorted out by your 30s and no longer prone to change.
While you are working on the mental front, it would also be a good idea to ensure that you are no longer buffeted by the winds of change any more. The last couple of decades have seen at least three global recessions and economic slowdowns. If you can read the writing on the wall, you will admit that there are no permanent jobs, so to speak. To tide you through the patches of downtime in between jobs, you should have enough saved up to ensure that you can survive till you find your next source of income. You should aim towards having a savings base that is more than enough to survive for more than a couple of years without any means of income. While you are at it, it makes equal sense to get a term plan, which will secure the financial future of your loved ones in case of an unfortunate event.
There really is little to be gained by faking self confidence in your 30s. By this time, you are expected to be naturally confident.
- Have you handled every nightmarish office schedule for days, nights, weeks, and even holidays?
- Have you written so many covering letters and mails while applying for jobs that if compiled in a single volume, it would be thicker than the collected works of Shakespeare?
- When your boss tells you that you will have to redo your work and work late and through the weekend, it does not bother you because you are veteran who has faced millions of deadlines in your career?
- Does your resume no longer list college achievements and certificates, instead it lists the advanced courses and skills you have added to your resume?
- Are you an expert on certain matters?
- Have you finally understood the importance and relationship of financial stability for mental and emotional stability and have done your financial planning with enough tucked away in mutual funds, a term plan or fixed deposits?
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to the above questions, you really don’t have any reason to lack in confidence. There is enough mileage on you for you to be able to predict most of the hurdles you can expect at this stage of life. Maybe you should lean back and let your competency show.