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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Career Hopscotch Of The Millennial Generation...

You read this blog apparently, so you know I have this romanticized idea about life in the nineteen fifties which goes right along with the same romance I have about city dwelling;  meaning I have have my slightly rosy Wayfarers on my face.  Regardless of my stupid metaphors, I have been thinking about what the heck is going on with us in our job market and career sector.

My deceased grandfather was a meat cutter/butcher in a supermarket and my deceased grandmother was your typical officer worker.  They bought their retirement house long before retiring and actually paid it off in full with enough years to enjoy it as they should have.  Also, my two uncles worked in the same concrete block factory for a few decades as hourly, full-time employees and both own their homes, some other property, nice vehicles, and have enough retirement to live more than comfortably for the rest of their years.  What?

I am not sure what is going on exactly because I am no economist so putting my finger on the source of the issue is a bit difficult, but something is off in this day and time.  We went from having generations of comfortable and happy people to whatever this is we are in now.  I am well aware of the fact that my grandparents had a taxing marriage from time to time, both of my uncles have divorced, and all of them had their own financial struggles smattered within their histories.  My grandmother, both uncles, and myself had a pretty hearty fight with alcohol at some point in our lives, so we are not all that different, and if nothing else bleed the same DNA.  As people, we Millennials have the same struggles and temptations as those who came before us, but the difference is just that - something is very different. 

These days we move around more than we take the time to actually dwell and build our lives as those two generations ahead of us did.  This holds true in our jobs, our homes, and our relationships as well.  Being somewhat transient is just fine in some situations, but I feel as if some of us Millennials are taking advantage of the mindset a bit.  Maybe I am showing my ignorance, but I know quite a bit of people who leave good, stable jobs they enjoy to chase another job for the sake of a bigger paycheck and nothing more.  Not that these people hated their career, were ever struggling financially and needed a higher paying position or anything of the sort, nor did they want to move cities, but I know few who will put in a solid three year employment anywhere before chasing the next higher salary of the unknown - just for the dollar.  But I am seeing it start to catch up to them.

The closer I get to my thirties, the more I see people a bit older than me who bounce from one career path to another wondering where the time went.  They also wonder what has happened to their employer-backed retirement plans which have been jumbled into a mess from company to company;  some of which are nearly worthless for that reason.  I am not saying that we should work for the singular goal of retirement, but with as educated as we are in this generation, most of us sure do have a difficult time paying attention to that sort of thing.  I mean, why pay attention to the future when you can invest more time into learning hard stats of professional sports instead of understanding your finances or personal career goals or actually owning something tangible?  How about leaving some sort of legacy behind when you die, because sometime, sooner or later you will?  Right.  Why enrich your life and figure out who you are when you have an iPhone to distract you, expensive vacations to go on, and hungover mornings every weekend to look forward to?  

The thing is, I cannot see many at all around my age being in a financial state as comfortable as so many of those two generations before us - most of whom were blue collar without a college education.  Actually, there are quite a few Millennials who will be paying on student loans the size of a monthly mortgage payment for more than half of their lifetime.  

We were told to do that.  
We were told to go out and chase the dollar before anything else.  
We were told to live our dreams on a whim which lead to going about it all wrong without thinking of potential consequences.
Everyone was given a trophy in little league...

The thing is, we listened because we knew nothing else and believed as we were told.  Thinking on our own terms and having sustained mentally practical growth was an unknown entity to so many of us because we were sheltered.
Is this every Millennial?
No, but I can confidently stake a majority claim on these thoughts.

I just think we lack the structure which once existed in our previous generations.  Yes, times have changed, technology is much different now, and we are more educated as a whole, but maybe stepping back to a different mindset would be good for us.  Maybe we could learn a few things from those geezers who are sitting on their front porches, looking at us and saying:  "What the hell?"

Really, though...
What the hell?

Grace and Peace,

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