The Defining Decade

That’s why I wish I had done more during my first few years out of college. I wish I had pushed myself to take some work leaps or a wider range of jobs. I wish I had experimented—with work—in a way I feel I can’t right now at almost thirty.

It might even pay more than being a floater. But it had no capital. From the perspective of the sort of identity capital Helen needed, the animation studio was the clear winner.

When I encourage twentysomethings to draw on the strength of weak ties, there is often a fair amount of resistance: “I hate networking” or “I want to get a job on my own” or “That’s not my style” are common reactions.

When I did call, they were about to post a job. I got it before they even posted. Everything can change in a day. Especially if you put yourself out there.

This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, “He that hath once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

foot-in-the-door technique, or the strategy of making small requests before larger ones, the Ben Franklin effect tells us that one favor begets more favors and, over time, small favors beget larger ones.

involved. In one study, nearly four hundred participants examined mock-up Facebook pages and rated web-page owners for attractiveness, only to decide that the best-looking owners were the ones with the best-looking friends.

circle—people who, no matter how quirky or complex, had found someone who seemed similarly quirky and complex. When these couples would tell their stories about finding each other, the punch line was always “We met online!”

“But calling my mom makes me feel better.” “I know it does. But those phone calls are robbing you of the opportunity to calm yourself down.”


a good parent as one of the most important goals in