Friday, August 20, 2010

An Open Letter to My Generation

Dear 20s in their emerging adulthood,

My name is dcc and I have job. It is this thing that gives you money that isn’t a trust fund or a parent. Having a job takes responsibility, sacrifice and time. Often it isn’t much fun but it does have its rewards. These include a sense of accomplishment, ability to stand on your own two feet and very often health insurance. I understand the draw to follow your dreams and discover the best taco cart in the world or write a novel or create the next music trend and even the importance of such aspirations, but at some point you will need to get a job.

Now about five years ago, I finished college and started out in the world. My parents supported me and in many ways still do, but I now bring home enough to very happily live my life, support my family and still have time to for identity exploration and feeling a sense of possibility in my life. The recent article in the New York Times Magazine that seems to be on everyone’s Facebook wall is telling us that your being lazy “finding yourself” is an important developmental state.

This is an excuse. Here are some facts:
- You aren’t over qualified for employment; your ego is too big.
- You can find yourself with a job that pays the bills
- If you want to find yourself full-time, get out of the fully furnished luxury apartment and move your ass to Astoria with a few roommates.
- The sense of possibility is greater when you can actually afford to do those things by yourself.

Shave and Get a Job.

From the article we learn:
That’s the impression you get reading Arnett’s case histories in his books and articles, or the essays in “20 Something Manifesto,” an anthology edited by a Los Angeles writer named Christine Hassler. “It’s somewhat terrifying,” writes a 25-year-old named Jennifer, “to think about all the things I’m supposed to be doing in order to ‘get somewhere’ successful: ‘Follow your passions, live your dreams, take risks, network with the right people, find mentors, be financially responsible, volunteer, work, think about or go to grad school, fall in love and maintain personal well-being, mental health and nutrition.’ When is there time to just be and enjoy?” Adds a 24-year-old from Virginia: “There is pressure to make decisions that will form the foundation for the rest of your life in your 20s. It’s almost as if having a range of limited options would be easier.”

Yup. It isn’t easy and no one should hold your hand. We are supposed to take the risks and work it out. All of our choices cost. They cost either time or money or both. After you emerge into adulthood (like many of us in our 20s have already) you will see that life, love, work and fun are all about figuring out the balance. Putting off this difficult and not fun exercise for later in life only makes you less prepared for your next step.

So, get a job, work hard, figure it out. Stop making excuses. Let me know if you need a resume reference.

All the best,