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Millennial troubles

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Tyler Durden in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is the voice of those born in the 1980s and 1990s.

You have a class of strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something…We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great war against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression

This “spiritual depression” is not surprising in a world filled with major wars, school shootings, economic crises, and natural disasters. These unsettling times means Millennials are surrounded by fear, uncertainty, and doubt because they don’t have a clear path to adulthood and the workplace. There are too many options and too many upheavals.

The 2008 Great Recession was one tumult that continues to delay Millennials’ career pathways and retirement savings. One lyric from the 2003 Broadway production Avenue Q summarizes most Millennial economic statuses.

It sucks to be broke/and unemployed/and turning thirty-three/It sucks to be me!

Barack Obama’s 2010 commencement speech at the University of Michigan even summarized the world in which Millennials live, work, and play.

You will search for work in an economy that is still emerging from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. You live in a century where the speed with which jobs and industries move across the globe is forcing America to compete like never before. You will raise your children at a time when threats like terrorism and climate change aren’t confined within the borders of any one country. And as our world grows smaller and more connected, you will live and work with more people who don’t look like you or think like you or come from where you do.

Meanwhile, Millennials are concerned with not only finding a job, but also being satisfied with their position. They want two things:

  1. The opportunity to negotiate their job description (hours worked, telecommuting, job responsibilities that aren’t 24/7)
  2. Recognition from management that their job is not the only thing in their lives.


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