The cohort between Generation X and Generation Z, also known as the Millennial has become one of the most infamous compeers in the chronicle of time. With children growing up in an atmosphere where, “everyone is a frontrunner, a champion, a star in their own right.” The generation of me, me, and me often times never hearing the word, “no” within an earshot. I myself am a millennial, brought up being told I am the best of the best and I can do anything I please when I grow up --- shoot for the stars and worst case I’ll land upon the clouds. Perhaps this is why us millennia’s are so displeased with Corporate America today.
For the first nine years of my career I worked in Corporate America, worked my way up the ladder, made a decent salary, traveled for work here and there, had great insurance benefits and a hefty 401K. It was the typical 9 to 5; I lived for the weekends and the bi-weekly paycheck. Creatively, however I was exceedingly stifled, bored to tears and felt that I was going to live and die in a cubicle. Midway through my career I was accepted to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). It was my ticket out, or so I thought --- the tuition was too high and my measly paycheck, even with student loans just wouldn’t cut it. A real let down and a waste of talent is you ask me, or my mom (you know she thinks I can do it all, it’s a millennial thing).
Fast forward a few odd years later and I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at age 27. My gripping nine-year career with Corporate America came to a screeching halt and by this time my husband began working for the same company. He was now a part of the marching ants. The silver lining to my diagnosis was that I resigned and I started a blog and was able to supplement my income by writing, a creative medium that I have always been lovingly passionate about for as long as I can remember. The journey I was going through gave me a subject matter and also helped me through some of my darkest days. I see now why FIDM didn’t work out and why I had to put in those nine long years.
Now here we sit, my husband who works for the same company that I once did has just been told that the giant beast is laying him off, along with others to send more than 3,000 jobs to India. The kicker is they asked him to go to India for three months to train the people who would be taking over his position. Not that it’s their fault, but nonetheless. Where is the loyalty? Yes, we millennia’s may think that we know it all and can do it all. But, we have so much, I repeat, so much to offer. So what I am politely trying to say is that Corporate America can stick it.
Where we belong are places that are inspiring, where there is an encouraged and renewed focus on creativity, a mission that stands for something other than just monetary single-mindedness and room for growth. Starting something from the ground up, seeing it as a fetus and raising it as though it were your very own child. Taking pride in something that is beyond you. What I am getting at here is that Gen Y belongs in an environment such as a Startup or not waiting until you’re diagnosed with Stage IV cancer to figure out that Corporate America is not the place for you.
Whatever your situation is in life, if you hate your job, I encourage you to find a way to do what you love and make a living out of it. One day you will thank yourself and never look back.