Being a millennial means we have to be workaholics in order to feel like we are getting somewhere in our lives.
We spend years of our lives being pressured to do well in school so we can get into the program we want to be in for our dream career. When we get to post-secondary school we work so hard to get a good grade in order to land us that job after graduation; yet can’t fully focus on the material we are learning because we force ourselves to learn for a test, not retain the information for a long period of time.
We get a degree, or multiple degrees, and still have to work numerous jobs because you are so far in debt so we can get these degrees in order to be “qualified” for your dream job, but are not hireable because you have a “lack of experience” and are technically “unqualified.”
It feels impossible to make it anywhere with all the drive and ambition we have.
Obviously with the lack of middle class jobs, millennials are forced to stay at low paying, non-promotional, beginners jobs for many years of their lives and are generally going nowhere financially. We feel we should be going farther in the world by a certain point and because of the standards set by others that we now inflict on ourselves.
We have no choice but to be workaholics if we want to pay off debt, gain experience in the workplace and save money for our future.
What kills me about the workplaces my friends and I have worked at in our very short and new careers, is that everyone who is above us in corporate positions have this unusual entitlement and power over us. Yet they constantly blame our generation for being so entitled. Those who are in higher positions should never make fun of the younger crowd. They should use their position to encourage, educate and inspire us, not belittle us.
Despite how hard we work or how driven we are, people always have something to say about us. They fail to see how hard we are working or despise us for it. This economy is different because of them, and the times have changed from when they were young. Most people didn’t go to post secondary school so they just went straight to working full time and didn’t have debt like we did.
I fully acknowledge that in the 3 years since graduating college that I’ve always worked 3 jobs while volunteering on top of that, and maintaining relationships with people all in one. At times it has been exhausting and I don’t feel like a fully functional person. But at times it’s gratifying to know I’ve worked hard and have saved the money to do fun things instead of continuously budget my weeks to perfection.
Millennials understand that we live in a competitive market where everything from our social class to where we work matters. But we can only work so hard until we burn out, which is happening a lot more than people realize. And we respect those who are doing what they can to better themselves and provide for themselves or others. It’s hard. Why can’t we be appreciated or acknowledged by others for being workaholics? Why can’t it be praised rather than shamed?
We’re well aware we aren’t dream candidates for employers and we recognize the fact that there is a lack of employment due to technology or inexperience, but we keep fighting and hoping one day we will get to do what we love and not have to exhaust ourselves and be perfectionists 24/7.
We shouldn’t have to work this hard just to make ends meet and be able to save ourselves an extra $100 a month. But we do it anyway, and each day we wake up with a smile on our face, ready to take on the 14 hour work day ahead of us. And we will continue to do so until we see some change in this competitive world.
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