Everyone is rushing to understand millennials.
And that’s really a smart investment for everyone involved: Millennials are the largest generation of customers ever, according to Forbes.
But sometimes, self-reflection is easiest with a guide, so I called up Ashley Stahl, a professional career coach based in Southern California who presented three questions to unlock your authentic career at a TED talk in Berkeley.
She’s also a fellow millennial.
“I think this combination for the millennial generation, listening to this renewed feminist movement, listening to the baby boomer generation saying, ‘Never depend on someone,’ yet they’re saying, ‘You’re lucky to have a job. You’re lucky to have benefits. Pay your dues, you have to put in your time,’” she said. “And then you have the recession, which really solidifies their discussion that we’re lucky to have what we can get.”
For college students at the end of their academic career, looking out as the recession hit its lowest point, there grew an increasing disillusionment with some of our culture’s institutions that has had lasting effects.
“They’re not willing to accept what their parents did,” Stahl said. “Privately, I see 20 millennials a month and it never ceases to amaze me that repeatedly this is the case: They don’t want to be like their parents where they accept something, they move up and they get to the top 15 years later.”
It’s an interesting thought that explains why so many millennials are embracing the freelance and entrepreneurial life.
“This is a generation of an information economy,” Stahl said.
Her best advice for millennials in this form of economy where information is capital?
“They know something right now someone would pay to know,” she said. “The Internet is powerful for niche marketing.”
She also says don’t wait.
“You have to start before you’re ready, because you’re never actually ready.”
As a writer, the apparent masters of procrastination, her words rang true.
I’m going to go work on that short story now.
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