The world is changing. There’s a feeling in the air today, around America and throughout the world, that what people believed about financial security and prosperity is no longer true. A lot has changed in the last [six] years.
You have three ways to react to these changes. First, you can stick your head in the sand and hope that everything returns to normal – but that isn’t happening. Second, you can blame others and demand that prosperity and security be given to you because you believe it is your right to have these things – but this won’t occur, and even if it did, it would only come with a terrible price to pay.
The third option is to take your future into your own hands, to create your own opportunity, and to achieve your American Dream by taking control of your life. This is what [I] believe to be the correct choice.
–Craig Ballentyne EarlyToRise.com
Yes, the world has changed dramatically during the past 6 years due to the 2008 financial crisis. But beyond this the world is also being changed and shaped by a new generation that is about 80 million strong. Our American dream is not the same one our parents have worked and saved for their entire lives. We don’t want to work 40 years in a job that we don’t love in hope of a great retirement. Our parents chased the work life balance, while we are in pursuit of the work life blend.
Our parents believed and continue to remind us that the way to success is as follows…you go to college to get a degree, get a good paying job, then get married, then buy a house, and have kids…then you fill in the blank (you know the drill).
As a proud member of Gen Y, I know that our parent’s generation means well, but why should we settle into a job that we don’t love? Why would we want a path with no guarantee? We have watched our parent’s retirement get absolutely smashed twice in the last decade. And they were just following the same rules they have been preaching to us our entire lives.
Why do they get so concerned at the fact that we switch jobs every two to three years? It doesn’t mean that we are not making a significant contribution. I think I read somewhere that we are the first generation that has zero expectation of staying with the same company for our entire career. Think about the pace of change in technology and the new skills we need to continue learning to do well in this new age. Moving around every couple of years keeps our skill set sharp and relevant. Change is the only constant for our generation.
Technology has changed the rules. We are playing an entirely different game than our parents before us. For many of today’s jobs, we have the technology to work from anywhere in the world, and we will demand that flexibility more and more. Why should we limit our travels to that once or twice a year vacation? With today’s technology we should be able to have location independence.
The New American Dream
Here are the elements of my American Dream as a Gen Y’er:
1) First and foremost, I want to do something that matters and that I believe in. I am not interested in having a job that pays well but is not fulfilling.
2) I want location independence. Unlike my parents I am not willing to save all my travels for once a year vacations and the all coveted retirement. I want to do work that enables my lifestyle, not one that confines and limits it.
3) I want flexibility. If I don’t want to work a 9 to 5 schedule, why should I? As long as I get my work done when promised and on schedule it shouldn’t matter when or where I work. Additionally, I want to wear what makes me comfortable. I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. The way I dress does not affect my work.
The good news is that there are lots of companies that are realizing what is important to the fastest growing demographic in the workplace and thus their largest talent pool. Companies like Google, Facebook, Virgin, and many more are re-writing the rule book in order to have a chance with Gen Y.
The bad news is that there are a lot more companies that are slow to embrace this new generation and they will eventually realize that this is going to be a competitive advantage they can’t afford to miss out on. Until they do make that pivot, they will miss out on a lot of talent from our generation.
The exciting news, is that technology and the internet have created opportunities for our generation to travel an entirely different career path. With a laptop, a blog, and a lot of hard work we can actually earn a living online. Our parents don’t understand it but it is absolutely innate to us. And if you are not a writer it can be a YouTube channel, Podcast, e-commerce site, or a SaaS based company. The opportunities for our generation are abundant and we don’t have to choose just one. We are in a time that is allowing us to write the rules to the way we want to live life.
This blog and its coming resources are here to help, not only to show you the opportunities that we have (and the list keeps growing), but also how to leverage those opportunities into your own American Dream.
– Gen Y Finance Guy
You are spot on and I think it also applies to a lot of 30 something Gen Xers like myself.
Right on Shimeka!
Can’t agree more with your sentiments, significance, freedom & contribution are massive characteristics that most Gen Y (including me) are looking to achieve..
Cheers for writing this!