This is a guest post by another lovely person who is leaving their twenties (next week, I believe!). We met through a mutual friend who is planning a huge bash for all of us leaving their 20′s soon. John Yedinak is the President of Aging Media, a business to business media holding company that owns Reverse Mortgage Daily, Senior Housing News, Home Health Care News and several events related to their specific industries.
The goal for most in their 20s is to get a great job that allows you a chance to build your career. For my friends, this meant landing a job at one of the major accounting firms or ad agency. Me? Not so much.
My path wasn’t as planned out and while it caused me a crazy amount of stress and self doubt during my twenties, as I approach my 30s, I’ve realized how much fun and rewarding it can be to take some risks in your career.
For me, I left college early to work for the Dallas Mavericks and decided to never go back. After I got bored, I decided to come back home to Chicago and work at a bank that my family owned.
Far from glamorous, I made just enough to get by but I was happy not to have to sit in class anymore. But when my friends graduate and land all of these great jobs which required a degree, all the self doubt came flooding in.
I soon realized I had all of these insecurities when everyone had these big corporate jobs and I was stuck working at a family owned business. Without that college degree I felt I was limited in what I could do or move into career wise. Turns out I was wrong.
During the time working at the bank, I started Reverse Mortgage Daily as a way to update people on the industry that was just starting to grow. I was reading a lot of Techcrunch back then and thought, why isn’t there one of these for an industry we serve at the bank?
After about a year a crazy thing happened, I was starting to make a little bit of money. To make more I decided to do it full time and it shocked just about everyone.
The next 4 years of my life were crazy: I can’t even begin count the number of times I felt like I was doing something wrong and waking up in the middle of the night wondering if I should finish that degree or worrying if the next check was going to come in so I could pay my rent.
While all my friends were travelling downtown to fancy offices and happy hours, I was stuck at my kitchen table for 4 years hustling to make the business work. I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do and everyone knew it.
A funny thing happened though, slowly but surely the strange career path I chose started to make sense and the business started to grow. While all my friends were sitting in cubicles, I was having a blast trying to figure out how to run a business.
As all of this was happening, my friends were all incredibly happy for me and even a little jealous about the freedoms I was starting to have. Little did they know, I was praying to god every night that everything didn’t fall apart the next day.
Now, I’m 29 and slowly turning 30 and I can honestly say it has taken me this entire time to finally feel comfortable about the career path I’ve chosen. It takes time to figure out where you fit in, especially when that place isn’t where you’re “supposed” to be.
On October 8th, 2012, I can honestly say I’m happy with the path I’ve chosen and it’s been a wild ride, it just took about 8 years to make it feel ok.