- Be an editor of a magazine
- Look into starting my own magazine
- Married (of course)
- Starting a family (because, you know, that is totally conducive to #s 1 and 2)
- Publish a book
I still haven't done 1, 2, and 5. I've accepted I probably never will, largely because of 2 and 3.
The Huffington Post featured a piece by a self-proclaimed Gen-Y Expert saying that Generation Y has what she calls Expectation Hangovers. I should probably absolve myself now because I'm totally Gen X. But I was also raised with the expectation that I could do anything, because I was great, we all get trophies for showing up, and gosh darnit, people like me.
The author illuminates the crisis I faced around age 25, and that I think a lot of my younger friends are facing now:
Some 20-somethings are less willing to take or stay at a job that they don't like since they believe they are supposed to -- dare I say... entitled to -- love their job because that is what was "promised." Moreover, many prefer not to make a lot of lifestyle sacrifices, and now that moving back to the Hotel of Mom and Dad has become more of a trend than an embarrassment, they don't have to.
So the question is, as a parent, what do we do here? How do we manage expectations without raining on our precious child's parade? Are successful people coddled like this, or did folks like Obama and Oprah grow up seeing the harsh realities, and just overcome them?
Is telling our kids "you can be anything, yes anything" realistic? What do we do, then, when they return to us, empty wallets open, saying "you said I can be anything, but NASA isn't hiring, can I stay on the couch?"
I have always been a big believer in the fact that my main job is to prepare my child for the REAL world. I just don't want to do so while crushing their hopeful spirit.
The fact that my parents raised me to think I could run the world if I wanted to gave me the confidence to reach for the university I wanted to (and did) attend, and the courage to leave home and go out on my own. I would never want to deny my child that, but I also don't want them going in to things with rose-colored glasses and then giving up when they realize their big dreams may need to be minimized some to fit in with real life.
The author does go on to give a few tips to the younger set still bent on ruling the world...or at least working on it (and frankly, this is good advice for anyone not in a job or on a career path now):
- Get fiscally fit
- Stop using the economy as a scapegoat
- Get a job. Any job. Don't wait for a career
- Get off your parents' payroll
- Increase your financial IQ