Ready, Set, Grind: How Generation Y Can (and Will) Defy the Odds

Credit:, "Student loans: The next housing bubble," by Paul Campos.
Credit:, “Student loans: The next housing bubble,” by Paul Campos.

We’re screwed.

At least, that’s what the experts say. According to economists, young adults and future generations will be slaves to student debt, low-paying jobs, global warming, and Armageddon.

They are absolutely right for the most part. Experts also say Generation Y (or the Millennial Generation), is narcissistic, lazy, thirsty for attention (that explains the Facebook drama and half-naked Instagram posts!), “entitled,” and ungrateful.

We are so “entitled” that we believe that we will come out of college, surpass an entry-level position, cruise in a company car, work on our own time, and take trips to the Bahamas right? (Assuming that we only are committed to one job, one employer.)

America is no longer a place where working one job will suffice for our needs and our hearts’ desire. In fact, one job barely can support our needs. According to a CNN special entitled, “Repositioning America,” one-third of workers earn less than 24,000 a year. This is disturbing. Especially when we’ve devoted our sweat and tears into a college education that was supposed to be our golden ticket to the big bucks.

Nearly half of college graduates are in jobs that don’t even require a college degree, according to the nonprofit Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

The sight of each statistic makes our futures seem more and more hopeless.

It’s not.

You know why? Because we are a generation of hustlers. “Experts” say a lot of negative things about this generation, but they forgot to mention one word: ambitious.

About four years ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said about 6.5 million Americans worked two jobs or more. Let’s use this fact to our advantage.

Working more than one job increases our marketability. It shows our ability to multi-task, willingness to learn new skills, and our AMBITION. There are some things in the world that we can’t change, and others we can. We can complain about student loans and low-paying jobs all day, but its not going to stop interest rates from accruing or give us a promotion.

We have to be flexible and most importantly, a go-getter. Maybe good things comes to those that wait; however, I believe that good things come to those that meet destiny half-way.

How do we do this?

Don’t be too proud to work somewhere mediocre. Assess our skills and determine if we can do freelance work and make a little cash on the side. Volunteer and make some contacts. Join a professional association related to our fields of interest. Keep in contact with previous internship employers. Stop flexing on Instagram and update our LinkedIn profile. Pick up ANOTHER mediocre job.

Last but not least, don’t settle.

Everyone has the ability to follow their dreams, but most people don’t make it to the finish line because they settle for mediocrity. We become comfortable with our circumstances and after a while say, “it is what it is.”

It’s most certainly not. We will succeed regardless of how we are perceived. It’s our choice to sit around and wait for our careers to happen or GO GET IT. Life after college can be scary, but it is your responsibility to be productive. Even when you get your dream job, never stop hustling. Loyalty to employees is hardly existent in today’s world and unless you are just the greatest at what you do, you are replaceable. That’s just the reality.

Put yourself in a position where if you fall, you can land on your feet. We may be the “worst” generation to walk this earth, but we can be the most successful at evading crisis if we declare our circumstances to be temporary and solvable, roll up our sleeves, and go to work from 9-5 then 6-11. Challenge your beliefs if you haven’t done so already. The sooner you realize the world is changing, the more ready you will be when life comes at you fast.


7 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Grind: How Generation Y Can (and Will) Defy the Odds

  1. LinkedIn is just another social networking site masquerading as something more. It is, for the most part, for the average person, neither a productive or efficient us of one’s time. Don’t waste your time (or anybody else’s) on Linkedin. It is an easy calculation when the ROI just isn’t there fore 98% of the users. There are far more practical ways to get a career than cronyism and networking.

    1. Thank you for your comment Jayson. What options would you suggest for job seekers who want to look beyond social media for employment opportunities?

      I personally believe that LinkedIn is what you make it. If you actively follow up with people you meet networking, post valuable content for your field, and participate in discussions, it can work in your favor. The ROI is solely based on effort you make on AND offline.

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    1. Hi Kristen, thank you for the feedback. I would love to check out your blog and read your content. I am definitely open to guest blogging or creating an ebook, I will email you to follow up.

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