Millennials Reject The 'Stable Career' By Working Smarter, Not Harder
Career Development

Millennials Are Compelled to Reject The 'Stable Career' By Working Smarter, Not Harder

Things have changed: millennials face an entirely different economy, work environment, compensation, and benefits package than our parents did, and have different priorities in life.

133
Millennials Are Compelled to Reject The 'Stable Career' By Working Smarter, Not Harder

At the risk of using such a negatively-connotated term, let me paint you a picture about the world of millennials. They earn about 20% less than Baby Boomers did at the same age, despite higher levels of education and a higher cost of living today We have disproportionately larger amounts of student debt, and we're postponing major life milestones such as getting married, buying a house, and having children, due to our lower net worth.

Most companies today are getting rid of their pension plans, so we have less of a retirement net to fall back on. Real estate prices and college tuition rates have astronomically surpassed rising inflation to the point where it's so depressing, it's almost comical. As competition for jobs rise, new hires are expected to have more prior experience, take on more responsibilities and work longer hours to earn their keep.

Suffice it to say that things have definitely changed for 20-or-30-somethings in America, and we're just not satisfied. Thus, so many millennials are rejecting the notion of a "stable career" and taking leaps of faith with the hopes of reaching financial freedom.

There are several reasons people of my generation are looking to create additional income streams. Many millennials just aren't earning enough with their full-time job, and require a "side hustle" or two to supplement their income. The average starting salary for college graduates is $50,390 (but keep in mind that this is the average. The salary for an entry-level job in America can be as low as $35,000). If that's your income and you want to own property or have children someday (not to mention pay off those student loans), you're going to need to get fiscally creative.

Regardless of their current salary, many millennials see an enormous potential for new and unconventional ways to earn. Thousands of people have already taken advantage of creating passive income streams or working online and have broken out of the 9-to-5 loop. You've likely seen people on social media who constantly travel or spend unlimited amounts of time doing what they love or with their loved ones — and who wouldn't want that for themselves?

But is all that really possible? It sounds too good to be true. It seems much safer to do what our parents did: work 40-45 hours a week, take a week-long vacation once a year, and retire in 40 years with a ripe 401k. You might be thinking that millennials are so entitled to believe they shouldn't have to work hard like their parents. But let me explain.

Things have changed. Millennials face an entirely different economy, work environment, compensation, and benefits package than our parents did. In addition, our priorities as a generation have fundamentally shifted. We value independence and thrive on innovation. We're willing to work arduously when there's an intrinsic reward. A lot of us prioritize time to pursue personal hobbies and passions, and travel. We also want to make an impact on the world, advancing science, health, and human rights.

With time as our most precious resource, many people don't necessarily want to trade hours for money. In other words, be a wage worker. Millennials have high standards, but that's because they realize some sacrifices are not always required to have a good life. There are indeed many ways to make money outside of a typical full-time or part-time job, and while most of the Gen X'ers were content with it, millennials are refusing the beaten career path and carving out their own. If it's potentially possible to have it all, why should millennials settle for the sake of normalcy?

This is why millennials are compelled to go against the grain. Entrepreneurship, digital content creating, freelancing, and other unconventional career paths are far from being secure or reliable. But millennials are figuring out a key factor for success: they're learning how to work smarter, not harder. This is an important distinction, because many baby boomers and gen X'ers will insist that millennials aren't willing to get their hands dirty and put in the work. Rather, millennials are being more selective about which work is worth the effort. If more companies started to offer the things millennials value, like flexible hours, remote work arrangements, and socially-responsible initiatives, then maybe less of them would be leaving the 9-to-5 for something more rewarding.

But for now, it appears that millennials are looking for a better return on investment.

This often involves making riskier moves, and doing what others are too afraid to do. But if there's one thing millennials do well, it's shattering traditions in which we see no use anymore.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Your Social Activism May Actually Benefit From A Cleansing Social Media Detox

In the craziest year of our lives, sometimes there's value in taking a break.

We are living through, unequivocally, one of the most dangerous, unstable, chaotic periods of any of our lives. From COVID-19 to crises of police brutality to the mass exploitation of the poor by mega-corporations, the world outside seems to be looking more dystopic every day. What can be done about it? For many, activism involves heavily posting on social media to keep others aware. However, this comes with a net negative cost — increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the state of the world. Why might this be? After all, in past eras activists have endured comparable and greater levels of abuse and relentless torment from oppressors. Why, now, are people getting so easily burnt out?

Keep Reading... Show less

Reading is a relaxing activity that provides many benefits. Everybody reads books (when they are not watching Netflix, chatting on social media, or making Tik Tok videos) to distract themselves from reality for a while. Many do not realize the positive impact that books have like reducing stress, assisting with sleep, improving cognitively, and strengthening the mind. In honor of National Book Day, there are many great novels that you can read to mark this special holiday. Here are the best ones to check out.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Things You Need To Know Before You Watch 'Arrested Development' On Netflix

"Her?" Yes, she's an amazing show! (You'll get this joke after you watch the show).

Netflix

"Arrested Development" is an award-winning sitcom that aired for three seasons on Fox beginning in 2003, and then was picked up by Netflix for a fourth season in 2013, and then again for a final season in 2018.

However, it seems to remain one of the world's most underrated and under-appreciated shows of all time. Although this article alone won't be enough to skyrocket the show to Netflix's top 10, I hope that it will open people's eyes to the value and quality of the show.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have always felt left out because of how I look and who I am. I have always felt like the elephant in the room, literally. I have always been shamed for my size. For the longest time, I cared so much about what I wear and who I wore certain things in front of. I never wanted to wear shirts that would show a lot of my arm, located above my elbow. I wouldn't wear shorts that didn't go to the tip of my knees, at least. I never wore anything remotely tight, where you could see every curve, roll, or imperfection. I was so insecure about myself, and not many of my friends knew.

Keep Reading... Show less

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Celebrities Stealing Designs From Small Fashion Labels Is NOT A Good Look, And They Need To Pay Up

When larger, more established figures or brands steal from lesser-known independent creators, they are taking opportunities away from these creators while also profiting from someone else's work and claiming it as their own.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B recently collaborated on their new single "WAP," with the music video also being released on Friday. Both Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B posted photos of themselves on Instagram to celebrate the premiere of "WAP." An independent designer quickly noticed that the rappers' matching tops were copies of a top she had designed last year.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

When You Have A Disability, Finding A Job Is Twice As Hard, Believe Me, I Know

We have got to create a safer work environment for people with disabilities.

"My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically." – Stephen Hawking

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

7 Books That Are NOT In The Young Adult Genre That Will Change Your Life

Young Adult isn't the only genre that exists, so here are seven books that any book lover wanting to try something new will love.

One of the most popular genres in literature that everyone has read at least one book from is Young Adult fiction. Now, I personally can say that, in the past, I have been one of those people that only read from the YA section of the bookstore.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with just reading one genre, it's good sometimes to venture out of your reading comfort zone into the other book genres of the literary world.

In a previous article, I discussed the importance and power of words. The perfect example of this is literature and its impact on the world. Books have always played a crucial part in human lives, from how we are able to expand our knowledge to how we pass our time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments