Feeling the pressure of "not having enough time" is something we’ve all felt. I’m pretty sure we would all agree that if we were able to buy time, or years, we would. However, for many millennials, the pressures of not having enough time are becoming problematic.
Older millennials are questioning career choices (“I wish someone had helped me figure out
the right job,” or “It’s too late to start a new career.”) and younger millennials are struggling to
make decisions (“I’m getting older”, “I’m not sure what I want to do” or “What happens if I
make the wrong decision?”).
Such questions and pressure are causing a huge amount of anxiety and stress for this generation. Now if we were to look at the age of millennials comparative to a lifespan, it doesn’t seem to make sense. Especially when the oldest millennial is just shy of 40!
But irrespective, there are legitimate reasons why millennials are feeling this way.
Pressure from society. We are a generation who have been pressured to pursue four-year
degrees without always knowing if there was a viable career on the other side of graduation.
Expectations. We are a generation who are dealing with a lot of internal challenges. A lot is going on behind the scenes: high expectations, overachieving personalities, instant gratification complexes, social media comparisons, and FOMO.
Lack of support. Despite the pressure to attend university, the support provided by higher education institutions is few and far between. Most higher education providers don’t set up
graduates with expectations of what the job market is like compared to their chosen degree.
As a result, many graduate directionless and with limited options.
The Recession. The impacts of the 2008 Recession are still being felt. For millennials who graduated between 2007-2008 when the economy began to crash, many jobs that would have originally been available disappeared. This forced many to take jobs they hadn’t expected (or
wanted) and changed the course of careers.
The Pandemic. Like the 2008 Recession, the 2020 pandemic has added another spanner in the works. Younger millennials – even Gen Z – who are newly graduating or entering the labor market, are already having to re-think pathways and options.
What can we do about it?
It should be noted that this isn’t a case of normalizing the pressure, it’s simply creating awareness. And like all things in life, we don’t know what we don’t know.
The challenge for millennials will be to understand the factors at play and rise above them. So rather than waste time regretting that things were different, wishing for better, or
remaining stuck, accept things are as they are, and move forward.