Why A Guide for Millennials?
Life on your own is a bit scary. I get it. I’ve been through job losses, roommate issues, and other things. Really, some of my worst fears have come to life and really I’d never thought I’d make it. But I am making it. I’m a perfectionist and mistakes I’ve always seen as a waste of time. I wish I could take them all back, but if I did I would never know the amazing relief of knowing that I really can make it on my own.
Over the next few months, I will have to rely on my family more than I would like, but the fact that I’ve even made it this far is quite amazing to me. Most of my friends still haven’t left their parent’s house. I won’t be able to take back my mistakes, but I can use them to help others and I hope this guide for millennials will start that process. It won’t answer all the questions, but it will get you started to changing the world in no time.
Last week I wrote a message to millennials because I want to see this generation do great things and I believe we do have the right tools to do it. But some of us are a bit misguided about how the real world works. I decided to do some research and develop this guide for millennials. I want to see us make the difference, but first we’re going to have to realize a few things.
Learn to Take Responsibility
This might not be the best way to start a guide for millennials, but I wanted to rip off the band-aid.
I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s imperative that you learn this. It’s a scary word- I get it, but it’s a necessary part of growing up. The scariest part of growing up is leaving the nest. I did it. I moved in with someone who was supposedly my best friend. We did everything together and we were going to conquer life together. I started from scratch making about $1,000 a month. I hated it, but I found another job and put in my two weeks instead of running off. The next job wasn’t much better but it paid more. I got fired. My self-esteem was shattered and I was terrified. I could have ran home. Based on my current situation, I probably should have, but I took responsibility and found something else.
It’s part of life. I started over again with a part time job making a little more. I lost that job because the company ran out of funding. Around the same time, I lost my best friend- the one I was supposed to conquer life with but one of us is still standing here, while the other ran for the hills when it got tough. Now, I’m stuck with about a $1,000 in bills when I barely make more than $1,200. Believe me, I’m terrified, but am I going to run to mom and dad? No, I’m going to finish up with my responsibilities and try to work something out.
I don’t blame you for wanting to avoid the scary perils of life, but you can’t and you shouldn’t. While my friends are all cozy in their parent’s houses, I’m out here building character and being stronger than I ever thought possible. Really, this situation was my first fear, but I’m still alive and I will continue to move forward even if that means I’m crawling.
Prepare for the Workplace
Most millennials cringe when they hear the word workplace. They think tight collars, life sucking work for 8 hours straight and taxes. Most young people hop around from job to job trying to find the one tailored to their every need. As a result, there are tons of articles out there about how the workplace needs molding to fit the ideals of the average millennials. Tips include giving positive feed back and communicating how important the millennial is and their place is in the office and also providing opportunity for career advancement. All these are supposedly givens when working with millennials.
But this isn’t a guide for companies, this is a guide for millennials. To change the world, we are going to have to learn to work together and take responsibility over our own growth. A company that shifts from traditional to mentally-millennial isn’t a bad thing. It’s great. Companies should value their employees and give them opportunities, but we have to share the effort instead of expecting them to do it for us. We need to take responsibility for creating positive changes in the work place.
Throw Away Your Entitlement
Our parents and grandparents have pretty good lives, but there’s a reason for it. They earned it. They made so many sacrifices, put in so many blood, sweat and tears for the lives we have to day. We haven’t earned our stripes yet. You don’t need that $5 cup of coffee, the latest Apple gadget, your box subscriptions- I promise your life is going to fine without those things. It’s hard to live without those things when we’ve had them all our lives, but at the end of the day, we need to put them down and make our own way. It’s hard not to stuck in the cushiness of our parent’s lives, but get a job, any job and work your way up.
It seems frustrating at first. Spending all that time and money on a degree just to work at a fast-food place. I can tell you from experience, that things really do happen for a reason. It’s all about building certain skills, experiences and timing. I can’t tell you how scary the past three years on my own have been. But the past few weeks, I know they have all been for a reason. If nothing else, I appreciate all the things my parents have done for me. I know what the world is really like now and that I’m extremely blessed to have such great parents. Bad things happen, but you can do it.
Invest in Your Personal Growth
Not just for you, but for the world. Some companies will invest in you, if they see that you’re using that investment wisely. Using the investment wisely might mean that you’re spending more time helping your co-workers, or filling some hole in the company’s set-up. If you’re company isn’t investing you, spend some time thinking about why. Is motivation for personal growth self-focused or community-focused? If it’s the former than maybe that’s the problem.
Some companies won’t invest in anything except their silver lined pockets. That’s ok, you don’t need them. There are tons of free resources out there for you to learn from. It’s no longer enough to say you have an expensive piece of paper, you have to be dedicated to expanding your knowledge in other areas. E-learning is a great tool at our disposal. Some sites such as Coursera are free, then there’s also my favorite Udemy, Khan Academy and a whole host of others. Invest in yourself, so you can change the world.
And finally, if you can find a mentor. One that has been there and done that. Their knowledge and experience can be invaluable because they can help you through tough situations and help you learn, so you don’t make the same mistakes.
Pay It Forward
As millennials we want our hard work appreciated and invested in. It’s not bad to want these things, but as it’s our job to create positive changes in the workplace, we need to pay that forward. Find someone who might struggling in the company or in their personal life to invest in and appreciate. There’s nothing more exhausting then waking up every day and doing things you think you’re no good at. It would make such a difference to know someone saw their struggle, appreciated that they were trying, but they wanted to help them.
The world will never change if all we do expect it, too. We can help make that change, however slow, if we ignite it and take initiative to help our fellow millennials. Instead of dreading your day, look forward to the work you can do for future generations. Create your own guide for millennials, using your experiences.
Life on your own is a bit scary. This guide for millennials won’t answer all the questions, but it will get you started to changing the world in no time. Take little steps towards these goals. Help your mom with the housework, start paying your cell phone or car insurance bill, start cooking some meals for starters. I would also recommend starting to budget and examining your finances to see where all your money goes. Get a couple of your friends and see if they want to get a place together. In time you’ll feel more comfortable to make that leap. Your parents will always be there to help you, but it isn’t good to be quite so dependent on them.
In closing, I would just like to say, I didn’t write this guide for millennials because I think I’m better than you. But for once, fear isn’t going to determine my life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m terrified about my roommate leaving and truly being on my own, but it’s not going to control me. I’m just going to take it one step at a time and remember that everything happens for a reason.
I don’t want to see your fear control you. You have a purpose and this world needs the change that you have to offer. Find out what that purpose is and don’t stop until you’ve fulfilled it. When you start, you’ll think what the heck was I thinking listening to some crazy person’s stupid blog post, but there is no better feeling than accomplishing all the things you thought you wouldn’t be able to do.