There is a certain assumption about my generation that I do not agree with. Well, there are probably numerous assumptions, but there is one in particular I want to talk about. The notion that everyone who is between the ages of 20 and 35 are all interested in getting rich quick by being an entrepreneur. Let us take a moment to unpack that.
It is true that a lot of buzz words are being thrown around to embellish reality. With hyphenated titles and fluffy online bios, I can kind of see why older generations assume we do not know what we want to do. The truth is, we are multi-talented and have more access to inspiration and resources to believe we do not have to confine our lives into a box for a 30 year pension plan. It is not that we do not know what we want to do, it is that we do not want to settle for mediocrity. There is also this great article from Quartz that speaks to this and job hopping.
The entrepreneur bandwagon has over saturated the career sensation discussion. It is great that so many people have truly created something out of nothing and are being innovative with how they implement that in their business. There are a lot of digital boutiques, e-courses, and coaching sessions out there. However, this type of job is not for everyone and should not weigh more or less than the traditional professional career path. It is ok if some people are not interested in kicking the 9-5 to the curb or want to spend more time in school or want to be their own boss. Some of us can do both. Your choices should not be determined on what is most popular. There is also no need to look down on someone who chose differently than you.
This past year I made a point to meet more people in real life. I wanted to get a better understanding of this city I am living in and where I could fit in it. I attended networking mixers, happy hours, brunchs, and work shops for creatives, law students, and just young professionals. To be honest, I was disappointed. Yes, everyone was nice. Yes, each event had a hashtag to share photos or posts with and a swag bag to take home. Still, there was something missing. The discussions were empty and the food was bland. I did not learn anything new. I got the sense everyone else attending felt the same, but still pretended to look excited for the selfie they posted to not allow their time to go to waste. It got me wondering if my standards were unrealistic. Is this really all there is to adulthood? Am I naive in expecting more? I have yet to find an answer to this, but I feel this is part of the problem. How can we successfully navigate our careers in an environment that is not promising? If you have any ideas, I would love to hear your thoughts.
The key to being a successful millennial involves strategy and priorities. Regardless of which path you choose, you cannot cruise into it willy-nilly. Be strategic with your time and who you interact with. Step outside of your comfort zone and be open to opportunities. Be proactive in how you maneuver your path. The beauty of this era (as confusing as it is) is that the hustle does not have to be torture. You can create a lifestyle that benefits you and your family in a wholesome way. You can create a reality you do no want to escape from.
How are you navigating your career? What do you think is the key to success for our generation? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Wearing: T.J.Maxx blouse; New York & Company skirt; DSW heels; Vinti Couture earrings