Most millennials will tell you: We're never not looking for a job. Recession-style insecurity is our new normal. We live in an age where it's not uncommon for college-educated adults to move back in with their parents or work multiple part-time jobs.
While everyone in the work force deals with pay freezes, layoffs, and furloughs in this economy—and certainly, those setbacks can be harder financially on workers raising a family than single 20-somethings—our generation probably won't ever make up for it. Over their entire careers, those who graduate during a recession make less, save less, and get promoted less often than those during a boom, Marketplace reports.
That certainly feels true to me. Four years out of college, I was laid off for the first time this year. I wasn't particularly surprised or distraught, since it's become such a common experience (particularly in my field of work), but it did feel like my hard work had proved fruitless. I decided to switch gears in my career, and in many ways, it feels like I'm starting over. I worry that from the outside, the change makes me look unfocused and flighty.
"We can't regard the employment issues of millennials as character issues," wrote Michelle Van Loon, speaking from a Boomer perspective that some complaints about younger generations are misplaced. And that is certainly true.
But, we also show and build character in how we confront our employment issues. Depending on our approach, we can wallow in uncertainty and disillusionment, growing bitter. Or we can accept it as a lifelong adventure and "count it all joy." Or we can offer up countless YouTube parodies and snarky memes. That's all up to ...1
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