Financially speaking, Millennials (Generation Y adults) have it rough right now.
It’s no secret — young adults were hit hard by the recession. Eighty-two percent (82%) of adults say it’s more difficult for young people to find a job today than it was for their parents’ generation.
And what about saving for the future? Seventy-five percent (75%) say that’s harder than it was for their parents, according to a 2012 Pew Research survey. The average college student graduates with $50,000 in college debt and many are forced into low-paying or no-paying jobs just to get ahead a little further down the line.
Money – or lack thereof – is easy to measure. In turn, it’s easy to paint a bleak of the future for Millennials.
“Will this be the first generation in recent history not “better off” than their parents?” many wonder.
The Future is Bright
Luckily, the Millennials I know don’t see the future as bleak. For us, the future is quite bright. And it’s the spirit of entrepreneurship that both buoys our spirits and creates the opportunities we need to be “better off” than our parents’ generation.
Economist, Philip Auerswald refers to us as “black collar” workers. He claims that we “try to minimize [our] spending in order to maximize [our] flexibility.”
“We’re not looking for long-term careers, we’re looking to make a difference… now. When we ignore the trappings of the corporate ladder, home ownership, and long-term strategic planning, what’s left is “nothing more or less glamorous than the determination to get something done.”
The “shiny objects” our parents valued don’t have the same draw for us. Instead, we’re looking to create goods and opportunities that connect us to each other and our world. We’re looking for goods, services, and applications that solve real problems.
“What if the great challenge for enterprise in the twenty-first century is no longer merely manufacturing the alluring, spotlit glamour of mass-produced opulence, but cultivating a more authentic plenitude that matters in human terms?”
— Umair Haque, Betterness
While our parents strived for comfort on material and financial terms, our generation is more concerned with the comfort of self-determination, purpose, and personal connection. For many of us, it’s not about the grand collections of houses, cars, furniture, and clothing. Our lives are about collecting experiences and deeper understandings of meaning.