As a young twenty-something I know plenty of other twenty-somethings. It’s a funny stage of life and yet I’m only 2 years in (going on 3;) …
We’re all searching. We’re searching for an answer to “what now?” Granted I have another year of school left, that question is still undoubtedly the single most rehashed thought in my brain.
I think that our generation is a little different from times past. We’re not willing to just settle. For our grandparents, life was hard, childhood was most likely during rough times (i.e. depression, war). With this upbringing, a decent job with a steady paycheck sounded pretty good. And for the most part, our baby boomer parents got it better but still wanted the ‘good’ job with a steady ‘good’ paycheck. But most of today’s emerging working class want something even better. Money and job security isn’t the big shtick anymore; studies have shown this time and again. We’re greedy little suckers that want it all… the well paid, fulfilling job, the nice home, the family… essentially, the beautiful life.
So, what now? I’ve had plenty of deep conversations with friends that have absolutely no effing idea what to do now. It’s not that these people are not capable of getting a job and it’s not like they have no options. From my observations (and from being there myself, occasionally) we’re looking for inspiration. There’s a reason why the young adults heading back to their parent’s couch is becoming a trend. (In Italy they’re actually paying some kids to leave the nest) We’re not willing to settle for the decent job with a steady pay check -we’re waiting on the career or the life that just clicks with what we care deeply about… and we’re just not there yet.
The problem is, waiting it out won’t accomplish anything. And if these people don’t do something… we will end up being the “generation that had it all and blew it”.
A boss once told me that he loved the fact that all these newbie graduates had so much aspiration to be the “big bosses” – but he scoffed at the idea that our “making it” started with “I’m going to travel the world first and then somehow, I’ll make it big” attitude. Essentially, his point was what these new grads are missing is the drive to actually put in the hard work that comes with future success. The time and effort that it takes (i.e. your twenties) should be spent climbing that ladder. I remember one specific quote “If you want to be Donald Trump, I’ll believe you – but not until I see you pour your heart, soul…and time into your dreams -otherwise; I can’t.
I agreed with him, there in his office. But, at the same time, I’m somewhat one of those people. I wrote most of this post when I was sitting on a cruise boat taking me back to Helsinki from Tallinn. (It was one of those last minute decisions to see a new city before the school season starts). So…I agree with him, yet I too want to see the world and enjoy my young adventurous adulthood. You see, I’m one of those greedy suckers who wants it all;)