Both of us got our degrees as clothing designers during the year 2014. With the glorious feeling of getting out of the school also came something we should have been expecting. Questions. Especially the question: “What now?”.
It has been asked by many people and not least by ourselves. We were both putting so much effort on getting our asses out of the academy that we hadn’t had time nor energy to start thinking about the future and make plans. Not to even mention working on getting things settled. I graduated right before summer and I just slipped to what I had been doing before: I went to work at a summer time theater. No big questions about that.
Iida got her degree six months later right before Christmas. Few weeks passed calmly and in preparation for the holidays but then the new year started. Most people are making (or at least planning to make) big changes in life as New Year’s resolutions and our relatives and family expected that now things are starting to happen in our tiny family too. As a huge disappointment to our parents neither of us has a job at the moment which brings us to an important part of the “what now?” question.
Do you / your spouse already have a job?
My mother loves this one. It gets asked every time she calls me and that, my friend, happens several times a week. We have a deep gap in understanding what ‘a job’ means to us and how bad we need to get one. Well, of course we need a job, that is not rocket science. What I mean is that our and our parents’ generations have really different views of life and working.
My mother practically lives for her job and she judges other people based on their success and how hard they work. The more, the better. Surprisingly common for her generation.
Then there is our generation. As millennials we are much more likely to value our personal life high and are willing to work fewer hours if it adds up to our lifestyle. I’m not saying that we don’t want to work. We actually are really passionate about it. But we want and need things to be flexible and we don’t want to sacrifice our family life, relationships and mental health for it. Work isn’t the only way how we value ourselves and our lives and the busier the better -thinking is so ‘last generation’ for us.
So as both me and Iida really want to land a good job that pays the bills and allows us to save some money, we aren’t willing to go for absolutely anything. Also our career as designers is very unlikely to help us get a whole time nine to five job in Finland. So we are working now on few small projects, developing our skills and trying to get our life together.
Yes, we do live on allowances and that’s something the generation before us has taught us to see as a shameful thing to do. But we are ready to take it. At this point it allows us to work on getting our blocks together. While developing and honing our abilities we are not only thinking ourselves but also people we’ll work with in the future. We want to offer best we can as employees or colleagues, gain energy for creating a good and balanced life in the future and build things to the point that we can contribute our share on other people’s well-being.
What do we want then?
We want a society that exist for the people and not the other way around. We have strong believes about what is right but we also see both sides of the coin. We want to have an impact on world and make things better. Millennials realize that it’s not possible to profit more and more in a limited world and if some people are getting excessively wealthy then there’s is a problem in somewhere else. We are willing to change that with our own behaviour.
When I work, I’m not working for money (sure, I need an income but that’s not the point). I’m working for something I believe to be right and which is important to me. That’s when I’m truly passionate about my work and at that point I’m willing to give it 110% and enjoy doing it.
Our generations finds it important that the work we do has a personal meaning for us. It must be something we believe in. If we are working for a company we need to know what they are doing, how they are doing it and if the company’s values match our own. We won’t sell our souls to get a better pay and that is what makes millennials and the generation X and baby boomers before us very different.
We know our rights as workers and we demand the working environment to be positive, healthy and flexible. It’s important that the work adapts to our needs and life and not the other way around. If we can’t affect our own work then we don’t want it. Life, family and personal health aren’t something to give up just to have a job. Millennials don’t see gender as something that makes the difference in work and we are tired to be lead by greying men who are trying to tie us in their norms.
Our rules are our own
Many of these points can be seen almost provocative by our elders. “What do you mean you’re not ready to take any job?! Don’t you want to work? Why are you lazy like that? You can’t just live doing nothing! You have to be flexible! Why are you so arrogant?”
Well, we have already tried to play according our elders rules while studying and what we two got from there was anxiety, depression and burn out. Yeah, I acknowledge that can be much more behind the psychological sicknesses but school and work environments have been playing huge part for us. Our parents generation might think we are lazy, but we are guarding our own health and abilities as anyone else in the society won’t do it. It’s no use to drive ourselves to early grave by burning the candle from the both ends, it doesn’t help anybody.
I think younger generation always scowls their elders and same works on the other way around also, but we have to remember that baby boomers lived in a world were most of the things went fast forward after the WWII. Mass marketing and consuming boomed and many business segments which are struggling right now were part of that consuming boom which is now changing again with digital age.
Positivity and future
It’s said that the millennials are the most positive generation yet and I really hope that positivity will take us forward. Iida and I hope and dream of being able to work with something significant to us and we are working right now to give us a chance with that. This blog is part of our future, that’s something we are positive of.
We know some of the readers of this blog are our friends of same generation, so let’s keep heads high and create better future together millennials! We have abilities to find and create those jobs we want and need, even thought things might be though right now.
P.s Let’s start by voting this week.