Identity capital is what we do to invest in ourselves. Its culmination will be who we are when we are fully developed beings. Basically, as a twenty-something, it is time to start thinking about how the people we hang out with, the jobs we take, partners we have, and how we take care of ourselves will create the person we become. The summation of these parts in our lives (in addition to the other ways we spend our time) will add up to what we have to offer to potential employers, friends, and partners.
While this has always been true, now with the digital age, it is harder to shake our indiscretions Instead of moving out of our college towns and keeping in touch with only the people who were real friends and people we want to have in our lives, Facebook makes it possible to keep in contact with every bad decision we have ever made, and have pictures of it posted everywhere.
A few things to think about:
If you know you hate something and it is a waste of your time and talent, find a way to stop doing it. If you work a dead end job that you loathe showing up for, start looking for another one. If you don’t qualify for the jobs in your field that you actually want, start looking into going back to school or adding on some certifications to beef up your resume. Don’t forget to work your networks. The people you know might lead you to potential job openings you would never even have known about otherwise. Be smart about the time you are spending doing things you don’t love.
Just because you enjoy something, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. While the mind might easily jump to half-forgotten nights with friends and too many wine coolers, that isn’t the enjoy I’m talking about. If you work at Payless and really love your coworkers and fake leather shoes but want to be a biochemist, you need to start investing in working towards that goal. If you love skydiving, but the cost is eating into your college fund or the money you are saving to relocate to a city you have always wanted to live in, it might not be the best allocation of your funds at this point in your life.
Your friends should be more than drinking buddies. It’s true. At the point in our lives, we should be weeding out the people who use us for our generous nature when it comes to the BYOB invite. When it comes to friends, think quality over quantity. Who would you call if you got a flat tire or needed help with a serious problem? Which friends would you call when your grandmother died? Which ones would you rather not even talk to when you are sober? These are the relationships you are going to want to maintain overtime.
Figuring out who you are isn’t going to happen overnight, but investing in your own interests will help you get there.