WHY IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK TO BE A MILLENNIAL


With a shrinking job market, millennials – the generation born between the early 80s and early 2000s – face an entirely different set of challenges to those their parents experienced. But is it all bad?


Millennials have grown up in a world that’s almost unrecognisable from the one of their parents’ youth. There’s no end to the technological advances that separate the two, not least of which are the Internet and social media.

JUST CAN’T FIND A JOB
Millennials are the most educated generation, which is something to be proud of indeed, but it poses a challenge when it comes to job hunting. The labour market simply cannot accommodate all those graduates. This doesn’t mean discarding a lifelong goal of becoming an attorney, for instance, but as a millennial you might have to adjust your expectations. Reabetsoe Buys, counselling psychologist at Monash University, says if you’re set on a traditional career such as in law or medicine, it’s advisable to study further in order to specialise, so your skills are more in demand and your chances of finding employment greater. Alternatively, many millennials are forging their own careers by becoming entrepreneurs, creating their own jobs in their particular fields of interest, outside of the mainstream.

WHEN THE BUDGET BITES
Life is definitely more dull when you’re not earning, as you’ll know if you’re a millennial still waiting to land your dream job, and the current state of the economy doesn’t help matters. At a time when the cost of living is particularly high, if you do have a job you are probably earning less than previous generations, even though you’re doing the same jobs. The situation is going to change, but that will take time – and in the meantime, there are bills to pay. Buys says that the best way to handle this particular challenge is by swatting up on financial basics like how to budget, how to manage debt and perhaps most importantly, how to live within your means.




SO, SO STRESSED
Remember how society used to joke about the midlife crisis and people who take a sudden interest in fast cars and flashy clothes? It turns out that this life stage has now been overtaken by the quarter-life crisis! That’s because depression, anxiety and stress are on the rise among millennials. Buys puts this down to the gap between your expectations and reality. Haven’t you always been told that the world is yours for the taking? Yet many of you cannot find jobs, and when the instant gratification promised by the Internet doesn’t translate into real life, it can be disappointing and frustrating. Buys says a massive reality check is needed, along with resetting unrealistic expectations. It’s also important to cultivate resilience, take a fresh look at what it means to fail, and think of ways you can bounce back. It might be helpful to talk through these issues with a professional.


“Spend those hours participating in face-to-face interactions with real people instead”

DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD
Social media has gifted us with many things. With one swipe, you can find out what the Kardashians are up to or check in with your friends. On the other hand, this ability to peek into people’s lives is a major cause of dissatisfaction which, in turn, feeds depression. Of course you’ll feel a bit down if you don’t even have a job and you’ve just been watching the seemingly perfect lives of the super-rich. Ironically, the very connectedness that social media supposedly promotes and also limits the time you spend making real connections. Although it’s impossible to boycott social media or the online world completely, Buys recommends taking time out every now and then. Spend those hours participating in face-to-face interactions with real people instead. 




ADULTING THROUGH ADVERSITY
There are countless funny online memes bemoaning how hard it is to be an adult but jokes aside, Buys notes that millennials appear to have a particularly hard time mastering basic life skills. Having grown up online in a world of virtual reality they have expert digital skills and many can code like a pro, but they might struggle with processes like renting a home or paying taxes. Fortunately, all the information to demystify these chores is available online, so it’s easy to take back control. After all, as a millennial you do have superior technological skills that can be put to good use. Another upside of being born into this generation is your ability to think critically, your creativity and communication skills – all of which make you very capable of creating your own employment as well as collaborating with those who lack your 21st century skills, on projects that work for you both.

WHY IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK TO BE A MILLENNIAL WHY IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK TO BE A MILLENNIAL Reviewed by Jet Club on June 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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