Being Young: The Time to Take Risks

Being Young: The Time to Take Risks Reading Time: 6 minutes

I like to use my Common Toff platform as a space for splurging the thoughts dancing around my head- those ideas and beliefs that happen to be prominent at any one point in time. And right now, that thought/belief/concept, is to do with taking risks… the need for taking the plunge whilst we’re young enough for the potential repercussions to be relatively minimal. So here I am, ready and raring to splurge about this… I encourage you to read on because my current splurging is a belief I really would like to spread. I want us to become a generation of risk-takers; of learners; of happy achievers rather than content settlers.

I will also attempt to explain my choice of images. As you will know, if you’re a regular reader, I like to offer somewhat far-fetched relevance when it comes to explaining the illustration of my posts, so here we go again. I received these amazing leopard print flares, ‘Vogue’ crop tee and striped co-ord as a very generous fit from Femme Luxe Finery. These are garments which 5 years ago I certainly wouldn’t have had the confidence to wear… comfortable as I was in navy jeans and v-neck knits (you can imagine). To be fair, it still takes a bit of self-pep-talking to brave them nowadays, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I feel that taking risks is actually crucial- even at the minimal end of braving a pair of outrageous animal print flares. So there we go- relevance.

So, I’ve had several conversations recently about life post-uni. I am aware of how very fortunate I am to have graduated and landed myself with a London job so soon after. Indeed, a job at a startup company which gives me considerably more responsibility and learning than I’d get at any other job. And when I speak about this new lifestyle, people are often slightly surprised to hear that actually the job I have is not really the career I had envisioned for myself throughout uni. I had dreams of working for an influencer marketing agency- of working with various beauty and fashion brands, building influencer campaigns. And yet here I am, at Fika, managing the marketing for this emotional wellness company. I mean- it’s not a total different kettle of fish- but it’s certainly not what I imagined I would be doing even just 3 months ago!

But you know what… I really really love it. I am super happy, gaining invaluable lessons on the daily, networking with people I wouldn’t necessarily have been otherwise. And none of this discovery would have been possible if I didn’t take a risk.

When my original position at an influencer marketing agency fell through, I went through Inspiring Interns in order to find something else London-based. They told me about a marketing manager role at a startup company building an app for the emotional wellness industry. I was confused as to why this position had been directed towards me- I know nothing about application development, I have no background in mental health or psychology, and working for a startup comes with a slight concern for stability. But something seemed to tick for me.

I’ve always been a people person, I love helping people, engaging with others and have been a support to a few friends struggling in the past. Fika seemed like an opportunity to work for something meaningful, to give something back to the world. So I took the interview and my interest in working for Fika grew. But here I had a decision to make. Did I take this role that I hadn’t foreseen in my future, or did I wait for a position I had envisioned being in, to come around?

This took some thinking, but Fika needed an answer pretty ASAP. And thank goodness they did… because ultimately this meant that overthinking was impossible. Taking the Fika job would really be a leap of faith based on gut instinct. And in a ‘life’s too short’ moment, I said yes. And I couldn’t be happier that I did.

This is a story I have told a few times recently. I have spoken to friends who have finished uni and maybe been slightly lost in what to do next. We are a bit of a generation of dreamers- a lot of us have a vision of how our life will turn out, and the sooner we start on the journey towards that, the better. But that can be so stifling, especially at the start. It’s easy to take an available job in something that has no interest to us, just for the sake of earning a living whilst ‘searching’ for our dream starting job.

But this is where people can get comfortable and stuck in a bit of a rut. Making money for the first time is exciting, but I am a strong advocate for not settling into this convenience. I know I am generalising and there are people who the following just is not applicable to. But for many of us now; young and just starting out in the big world of adult, our only real responsibility is for ourselves. The risks we take now pose potential repercussions for ourselves, but not necessarily a whole family as they may well do in the future.

Taking risks is the only way to discover. Taking a risk found me Fika. Taking a risk kept me in London. Taking a risk earned me compliments about my new flares.

But at the same time, if any one of these risks had fallen through, it absolutely wouldn’t have been the end of the world. If Fika hadn’t worked out, I’d have learned something new about myself, and I could have simply left that behind and sought out another risk to take. At this point in my life I don’t need to support anybody else. It is totally acceptable to fall back on your parents and live at home again. We have a whole lot of energy to go on searching and leaping. Not all of these may well be the case in 10 years or so.

This time of life is kind of the equivalent of a bird flying the nest for the first time. Falling to the ground in an attempt to fly is pretty much expected and accepted. Waiting around until you’re a fully grown bird to try flying the nest, and then falling to the floor is a little more problematic; a little less expected. You may even have a family of baby birds needing you to fly out to find them food. You have responsibility at this point, and whilst taking a risk is never out of the question, it will just come with a little more pressure behind it. (Goodness me… apparently I love a far-fetched, embarrassingly cringe analogy).

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that we need to be experimental now. We can have dreams and plans, but we have to be willing to explore other unknown avenues in order to broaden those dreams and plans. Let’s take risks, let’s fail, lets learn and let’s eventually achieve. And let’s be more than comfortably content, let’s be happy.

AD: These beautiful pieces were generously gifted to me by Femme Luxe Finery.