By Robert Carbery
Debt-ridden Millennials just can’t handle real life. Hit with a never before seen amount of debt and facing a shifting and hollowing job market, it’s little wonder that a shocking number of Millennials say they are having a crisis at their current point in life when they are supposed to be finding out who they are and what their life is all about.
A LinkedIn survey of 2,000 Millennials shared by Moneyish revealed that 72% of young professionals aged 25 to 33 confessed to being in a quarter-life crisis, or a period of self-doubt and insecurity that leads them to question their choices they have made in life so far, especially in regard to relationships and career paths.
A small amount of disposable income, mountains of debt, and an uncertain employment market will cause this kind of anxiety and questioning for a young man or woman. The first factor that young people were struggling with according to this survey was that they could not find a job that they were passionate about, 57% listed this while 57% also expressed concern about being able to buy property any time soon. Coming in second place was finding true love at 46% which has become much easier today in the age of Tinder and other online social dating apps but has also made many afraid of real life chance encounters. Women questioned were much more likely to be unsure of their careers choices than man by 61% to 56%.
Millennials are on the forefront of today’s social media-centric culture and it is resulting in difficult times for many. A good amount of this generation have a difficult time being in the present moment and having fulfilling real life experiences. Friends are counted on Facebook and followers are tallied on Instragram, but lasting friendships are becoming fewer and fewer and this is an alarming trend to say the least.
Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and author of The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius, is covering the declining sense of purpose for our most talked about generation of tech-savvy Americans.
“Things are really difficult for people in their 20s and early 30s because you’re making what seems like the most important permanent decisions of your life. In reality, many people do make changes, but it feels like these are non-refundable changes that you’re making for your career, relationship or family,” she says. The anxiety produced by these changes can be difficult to cope with. Women feel they need to step back from their careers and get a family started but women are working just about as much as men these days. While men are unsure of their choices or are annoyed at their lack of progress toward their life goals.
The survey also showed that 31% felt like they were wasting away in a job they did not like. This group of workers seems to have such high expectations and want to meet the standard of living their parents have but many are not reaching that. With an inability to save or make money or keep friends, there is a significant chunk of Americans in their 20s and 30s that are struggling with the difficulties of life.
“Many people in their 20s have unreasonably high expectations. Not only should they be earning well, but they should be loving the concept of what they’re doing minute to minute. We’re a very happy focused society right now, where, if you’re not happy something is wrong. That bleeds into how you feel at work,” Saltz suggests. Millennials need to focus on being grateful for what they do have and lower their expectations and realize that they are not going to be 100% happy with their profession and their lives all of the time. Life has ups and downs and getting one’s career started and relationships in general can be anxiety-provoking, but it is not the end of the world.
Success takes time. But in today’s instant gratification culture, too many are far too inpatient. Take a deep breath. Put in the work. One day, you will be happy and working in a job that you enjoy and find worthwhile. It won’t happen overnight and you won’t get there right away. But that is life. The struggle is the journey. You will find your happy place sooner or later.
You have to support yourself but you won’t become a millionaire working in a field you want to be in by the time you are 30. Some people get lucky but many others will be put through the ringer. But that is life, my friend. Gotta learn how to deal with it. Enjoy the ride!
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By Robert Carbery