On January 2015 I left my parents house, on that summer I moved to Lisbon and I’ve been living here since. I worked for three different companies since I left college and I’m currently working as a freelancer. I don’t regret any of my decisions even those which brought me some issues, but I know this is not an easy path for a lot of people. Some of us – a lot of us – are afraid to try their independence, we’re afraid of failing and having to take a step back – we get sick just imagining this scenario.
What the world forgot to tell us is that the time we left our parents house with our own appartment, with a fantastic well paid and secure job, ready to face almost anything, is over. Those times are over! We have difficult to buy our own apartment, sometimes we can’t even afford to have a house just for us, we have to share it with some friends, with our boyfriend and spend a huge part of our salary paying the rent. We don’t know anymore if we’ll be working tomorrow, and it’s really hard to save money.
But that’s not a reason to stop dreaming, to live with our parents until 30’s or panic when our boss tells us they don’t have room for us in the company anymore. Between our middle and late 20s is the time where career is the most important thing for us. We really want to build something solid, save (and spend) some money and prepare to grow our family, but there are certain things we just don’t have to stress about yet!
Sure, having “manager” next to your name or some other fancy word feels good, but titles aren’t always the truest indicators of salary or responsibilities. If you’re happy with what you’ll be doing, don’t worry about how they’re calling that role. You may even come to find that roles without heavy titles are the best.
STAYING IN THE SAME FIELD
There’s a lot of pressure in college to choose a major or degree that you want to spend your career doing. And there’s a lot of stress about finding a job that correlates with your skills. The thing is, you can easily bounce around in your 20s to see how different roles and fields feel to you—no matter your degree or resume. You can’t necessarily do this your whole career, but that’s exactly what your 20s are for. Find what makes you happy!
HOW “COOL” THE COMPANY IS
People feel they won’t become successful unless they work for a big company, a normal company doesn’t feel cool enough. But before chasing a popular company, think back about your actual role and happiness. If you’re enjoying where you’re at, settle with the smaller, less-known company. You can even find a better chance to grow on small companies as they may turn bigger and you’ve been there since the beginning. In large companies there’s short space to grow.
HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS AT WORK
You left college a few months ago and you were used to being surrounded by friends with whom you shared time after “work”. It’s great to make some friends at work, they can even help to overcome heights of greater pressure, but don’t feel like you need to attend every Happy Hour or know all the office gossip. Your main priority is your job.
Like I said before, this is your time to experiment! You want to make enough money to pay bills and save a little, but if a job that you’re pumped about is offering less than something you’re not pumped about, take the pay cut. Learn to manage your finances and create a budget—make the money work. Your salary will eventually increase and this may be the only time in life we can afford to earn less, before we have a family to take care of.