The Defining Decade

Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now

Meg Jay

Claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work
The Defining Decade by Meg Jay (Paperback ISBN 9781805302513) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Paperback

4 January 2024

A revised and reissued edition for a new generation of The Defining Decade, a book that has changed the way millions of twenty-somethings think about their twenties – and themselves

Contemporary culture tells us the twenty-something years don’t matter. Clinical psychologist Dr Meg Jay argues that this could not be further from the truth.

The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twenty-something years with real-life stories to show us how work, relationships, identity and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood.

Smart, compassionate and constructive, The Defining Decade is a practical guide to making the most of the years we cannot afford to miss.

Included in this updated edition:
· Up-to-date research on work, love, the brain, friendship and technology
· What a decade of device use has taught us about looking at friends – and looking for love – online
· A social experiment in which ‘digital natives’ go without their phones
· A reader’s guide for book clubs, classrooms or further self-reflection

“Meg Jay takes the specific complaints of twentysomething life and puts them to diagnostic use”
new Yorker

See more reviews

“Any recent college graduate mired in a quarter-life crisis or merely dazed by the freedom of post-collegiate existence should consider it required reading”

“I strongly recommend The Defining Decade for anyone in their 20s trying to figure out their life’s direction. You’ll learn how to search productively, how to avoid being indulgent, and how to turn good opportunities into great ones”
Po Bronson
author Of What Should I Do With My Life?

The Defining Decade is the book twentysomethings have been waiting for. It will not tell you what you should do with your life, but it will inspire, motivate, and educate you to figure it out”
Rachel Simmons
author Of The Good Girl

The Defining Decade is eye-opening, important, and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it”
Wendy Mogel
author Of The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee And The Blessing Of A B Minus

Meg Jay

Meg Jay, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Professor of Human Development at the University of Virginia. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology and in gender studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her books The Defining Decade and Supernormal have been translated into more than a dozen languages and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and on NPR and BBC. Her TED talk ‘Why 30 is Not the New 20’ is among the most watched to date.