Sometimes I wonder what was it exactly as a kid that I amazed me so much about growing up. I wished for freedom. But even after a couple of years of adulting, I am yet to find the freedom that used to mystify a child’s mind.
These few years have unfolded some of the truths of life that I think as a new adult everyone does experience. So here I am sharing the realizations that struck me when I started out:
1) Making your place in this world-
As a child, this world was still way more accepting than it is for adults. You are constantly fighting for your place. Realizing that I was easily replaceable was a moment of truth for me. The extraordinary being that I used to be in school and college was nowhere to be seen.
This happened when I sat down for my first interview with a company and the interviewee asked me why we should hire you. All of the candidates had more or less the same kind of resume then what is it that made me stand out and this is when I realized I was ordinary. I wasn’t that bad but it taught me one thing- we all have the same qualification, experience in a certain sense but what actually differentiates us for others is how we chose to use that knowledge and experience and the way we present it.
Basically the way we decide to fight for the place we want in this world. We used to live inside a bubble until college and for many of us not even while they are in college. This world is brutal. We have been protected for so long that we never realized or learned to fight for ourselves. And now we are thrown amidst a battleground and are expected to defend ourselves.
I know for a fact that I is difficult to decide where and how to belong and then to fight for it as well. But then it is a fight we all take upon every day.
2) Finance and Budget-
As a kid, I hate to ask permission before buying stuff and always wished to grow up as soon as possible and earn my way to the luxuries that I always wished for. Only if I had known better. The luxuries changed and over time my capability to actually earn myself a fair earning too.
After I landed my first job I thought now I can buy whatever I wanted, live however I wanted but to my foolishness being an earning adult isn’t that fun. Paying rent and other bills takes up most of your initial salary. And if you don’t learn the art of budgeting then welcome back to square one of asking your parents for money. And trust me that is no fun. The whole point of earning was to not ask anymore, right?
You need to know your spending habits and have them under control or else you won’t be able to pay the rent. And I have never known any person who likes to be hungry or sleeping on the street or bench. Investing is a golden rule I wished someone taught me early on. Having one income is stupidity and to the people that hadn’t realized it yet, I think the pandemic taught you enough. Always make a budget.
Rent and other utilities are more or less a fixed amount take it off from your salary beforehand. Let’s say I earn 30k a month and I know 15k needs to be set out for such expenses so what remains the said 15k is my actual salary. Now from this remaining 15k save 5k. what we are left with is 10k. So, now divide whatever you are left with into two that will be 5k each and that is what you should take as the expense for fun. And the remaining 5k is your contingency money. Use it when you really need it or want to splurge once in a while. Otherwise, they get added to your savings.
That is how I started out. As horrible and hard it might sound it was actually really helpful in the hard times.
There will never be a job that will provide you a balanced work-life kinda environment. Sometimes you will have too much to work that even eating will seem like a nuisance. And there will be times when the family will be the most important thing.
We might not be able to strike a balance but honestly, at times something really makes me feel that is term is really overrated. When I apply for a long vacation to just chill and relax I am always anxious if my clients are being handled properly or at times when you are enjoying working it is as if I get bored on my vacation. Probably that is just me. But anyway, the point is I love my work and family both equally. Both of them have a different place in my life and give me immense joy.
So the realization was I just need to prioritize what needs to be prioritized. Sometimes my work takes the front row sometimes it has to go to the backseat and that is fine. Find your own definition of balance.
Some of us hate work and want to prioritize family, you do that. And for some of us, work is an escape from family and that is fine too. You do what makes you happy. But still, I would like to add don’t burn yourself out as well.
We are always in a rat race, it’s just a matter of fact if we know it or not. You see we are easily replaceable and hence we stay in denial but the truth is that we are a part of this competition that we signed up for or not.
And honestly, I think competition is a good thing if you know when to draw the line. Always remember why you even started competing in the first place. What does the reward mean to you?
I always used to get envious at work when someone at the same level as me used to get praised for something I didn’t even know how to do. But you know what I could have resented that person but instead, I asked for help. Help to teach me that something. It is as simple as that.
I get it we are competing against each other but I see no reason why we can’t reach out and ask for help. We want to grow and we should you everyone that could help us. Selfishness doesn’t always have to be termed bad. Competing for the right way needs way more brains than you think people.
5) Dress the part-
I know all these years after seeing the memes that are filled with rich people who don’t dress in Gucci. They prefer comfort over luxury. Just a piece of advice- Be that successful first until then stick to the dress code and be at your presentable best. You never know when knowledge fails; your looks can help up your game.
I certainly am not saying show up in Gucci or LV every day. No one likes a show-off. But at least make sure you dress neatly and look like you are interested. I not suggesting you look like eye candy while giving a presentation but at least make sure that the collar of your shirt is clean so that they are not the talking point of the meeting instead of your presentation.
Let me tell you something from my personal experience, I am a heels fan and used to wear them daily to work because they made me more confident but people around me always questioned me for it. But one day while talking to a newcomer he told me I thought you were a manager or someone high up the ladder because of the way you dressed and talked to me. And that is when I realized that the first impression you make on people is with your clothes so dress the part always no matter what the memes say or the people around you.
Plus to my amazement, this also helps break the ice or helps in making friends. My colleagues used to come to me for suggestions not because I was dressed in branded clothing rather I chose comfort too but with a hint of sophistication and that attracted them. So dress the part until no one can call you out for not doing so.
And a little bit of investment in how you look isn’t that bad. Before you call me out for being superficial, I don’t mind the tag till the time people feel I am interested in working with them and not playing around.
My looks are always gonna be an advantage to me. They are a part of my skillset against popular belief. Let’s just stop being so simple-minded.
Tell us about your realizations as a new adult in the comment section and if you agree with our list.
Read more on the Choices that we make:
Or read more about the struggles of leading a monotonous life and being afraid of being judged :
How far is far Enough?
Is it Okay to Give Up