It’s no secret that the job market is tough to break into. But some Millennials are so jaded by the struggle that they’re going their own path: making their own work.
Even though Millennials grew up being told that they can do anything they want if they just put their minds to it, they are not swayed by the American Dream (unlike their Gen Z successors). A huge percentage of them are saddled with student debt, which makes buying a house and starting a retirement plan difficult if not downright impossible.
This is why many Millennials are creating their own jobs instead of waiting around to be hired by others.
“We’re focused on making money. We want to be successful and comfortable in the way we live,” 23-year-old Danielle Walker told the Detroit Free Press. “But we’re also not making that to be our end all, be all. We want to be able to travel and to enjoy the different aspects of life. We want to enjoy our jobs. And we’re a generation that doesn’t put up with a bunch of stuff we don’t agree with.”
Jason Dorsey, co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics, told the Detroit Free Press that the answer to whether the American Dream is lost to Millennials totally depends on which half of the generation you ask. The American Dream might seem attainable to the half of Millennials who are “doing everything they are supposed to do,” like getting a steady job, for example. But for the other half, who are still struggling to find their place in the world — whether due to a local economy or not having the right skill set — are much more wary of this optimism.
“This is a generation that wants to show on Instagram how successful they are and post on Facebook how perfect everything is going,” says Dorsey. “Yet, looking at their real life, it does not actually look like that.”