We’ve been called “the entitled generation.” We’ve been bashed as lazy, unmotivated, selfish, and disconnected. People tell us we want an award for completing the simplest of tasks.
Seeing that it’s coming from mostly the older generations, some of this criticism may be true, but not always. And in some cases, never. Young people are known for emerging from their cubbies holes or dorm rooms with a new way of doing things. And when we do, we’re met with opposition. The same is equally as true when we don’t.
Millennials don’t think the same way as adults. We don’t act or live or work the same way either. And there’s a reason for this. In our continuous desire to be different, we challenge ourselves not to accept status quo. Wherever we go, we feel compelled to change anything and everything that could be done better, said better, and look better.
Millennials currently make up over 36 percent of the workforce and by 2020, we make up nearly 50 percent. Why is this important? There’s a lot of change that can be done in the world and it is our responsibility to do it. Just imagine what the landscape of our world would look like with every single millennial changing the things that are wrong in our society and improving upon everything that isn’t quite right.
Well, then we’ll be called too ambitious, too smart, too hard-hearted, too willful, or a host of other things. But that wouldn’t really matter. This generation is the most aware and awake generation the world has ever known. And that’s because we were raised by a generation that was more aware and awake than the one before them. Not only should we be making the world better, but we should be engaging in meaningful work — work that matters to us.
Our parents wanted us to learn the value of hard work for a reason. Maybe it was to make them proud, or so we could get a good job, or so we could follow in their footsteps. Whatever the motivation, work, hard work, is good. And however you do it (except taking out the trash, feeding the dog, and binge watching Netflix) should be commended.
It’s not that you don’t want to work. But rushing to a job you hate every day only to leave at the end of the day frustrated and empty is not your idea of work. The older generation may not get this point and that is okay. It’s not that you don’t want to work, you just want to do work that matters. Being a part of a team, a part of a company that is going somewhere that is meaningful and worth everyone’s time and effort is one of the highest honors one can receive.
So if you’re in a job that you hate and that has nothing at all to do with your passions or your purpose in life, by all means, be courageous and head for the door. It might disappoint your parents and frustrate your favorite high school teacher that you are tired of playing safe and sticking with comfortable only because it’s familiar. But, look, life is too short to play it safe.
Create a compelling vision for yourself. Find a purpose that matters to you and that is worthy of your time and skill. And then either find a company that aligns with you or create your own company that aligns with your dreams, goals, and values. When you do, you won’t be able to stop working.
It really doesn’t matter what your work is. Millions of people all over the world find something to do every single day and call it work. Of half of those people won’t be able to tell you what they did for the better part of last Monday. They couldn’t do it if you offered to pay them a million dollars. Why? Because the work they did meant nothing to them. Their heart isn’t in it. The boss might be happy but they are miserable.
Your life is too precious to waste at a miserable job. You also matter too much to the world to let your self-esteem and confidence be ruined by echoes of ‘lazy,’ ‘selfish,’ and ‘unmotivated.’ Find work that you can connect to. Own your talent and skills; be proud of your abilities. Proud enough to do something with it.
Yes, we all have to work. But you are responsible for doing work that makes some kind of difference in the world. Work that matters to you is no longer work but fun. I mean you can put on music and just do it — every single day, all day long. When you can do that and be the same girl who spends her Saturdays shopping or the same guy who spends his Sundays watching sports, you are certainly living the life.