Meg Jay, PhD


“Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. These are the investments we make in ourselves, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become a part of who we are… It is the currency we use to metaphorically purchase jobs and relationships and other things we want.”

What makes her a crazy one?

the defining decade

In 2012, I discovered Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade, and it changed my life. She convinced me to start taking my twenties seriously. And thank God she did, otherwise, I’d still be partying like it’s Spring Weekend 2009.

“This is not my opinion. These are the facts. We know that 80 percent of life’s most defining moments take place by age 35. That means that eight out of 10 of the decisions and experiences and “Aha!” moments that make your life what it is will have happened by your mid-30s. People who are over 40, don’t panic. This crowd is going to be fine, I think. We know that the first 10 years of a career has an exponential impact on how much money you’re going to earn. We know that more than half of Americans are married or are living with or dating their future partner by 30. We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the time to change it. We know that personality changes more during your 20s than at any other time in life, and we know that female fertility peaks at age 28, and things get tricky after age 35. So your 20s are the time to educate yourself about your body and your options.”

The Defining Decade is broken into three sections – work, love and health. Jay presents readers with the scary facts that 30 is not the 20, propelling readers to kick their asses into gear. The book is comprised of copious amounts of research based on her patients’ stories – all of whom are twentysomethings. The stories are relatable and insightful.

Here’s some of my favorite pieces by and about Jay, if you’d like to get know her a bit better.