Why Millennials Can’t Have It All (And That’s Okay With Us)

Last summer, I was talking to a female GenX colleague about her experiences entering the job market. At that time, she and other women her age were sold the idea that they could have it all. They could be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect employee, and the perfect hostess, all rolled into one perfect bundle. They could have the gorgeous home, the beautiful car, and a powerful career.

The way she rolled her eyes as she was telling me this made me pause and think, “Are millennial women falling for the same myth?”

What has our generation learned from the GenXer’s? We know that we can be anything we want, but we don’t have to be everything at the same time. As working millennial women, we have the opportunity to choose what our careers and our personal lives will be.

For the work section of our blog, we recognize that professionalism comes in all shapes and sizes. The traditional 9-5 that I experience as a fundraiser. The non-traditional 40-hour work week for retail employees, nurses, and teachers. The side hustle for women managing Etsy shops or creating must-read blogs. The volunteer helping a local nonprofit or her local school. The on the clock at every waking moment position that every mom and family caregiver experiences.

As you strive to find that balance between the work you love and the life you want, we’re here to discuss topics that affect working millennial women.

 

Man and woman shaking hands across a table

Interview Skills

Interview skills will be the first focus in our work series. Are you trying to land that dream job that will change your life?  Are you looking to bring in that crucial funding partner to get your business up and going? Or do you want to volunteer to enhance your marketability as a working professional? Whatever your situation, nailing the interview process and creating a strong first impression is critical to achieving your goals in the future.

The first impression when interviewing isn’t the moment you walk through the door – it’s the moment you submit your resume. As a hiring manager, I’ve seen amazing resumes that made me excited to get to the phone interview. I’ve also seen resumes that went straight to my trash can.

Related: Landing Your Dream Job: Preparing for the Interview

 

Woman drinking coffee and working on her laptop

Work-Life Balance

How do we manage it all? Personally, I’ve just added a ton to my plate. I work full-time. In the evening, I play with my child and try to help out with chores around the house. I also volunteer as a board member for a local nonprofit. Plus, I loosely advise a local political campaign on fundraising needs. And now, I co-write a blog with my amazing sister. Somehow, I make my way to the gym twice a week. To top it all off, I’m teaching myself how to play the piano.

I will readily admit that, yes, my life sounds crazy. When I describe my recent adventures to other women, I’ve gotten looks of wonder and a fair amount of disbelief that one person can do all of those things at the same time.

The secret, I’ve come to find, is to accept that it’s OK to prioritize some aspects of my life over others. And I do have to make sacrifices. My house is an embarrassment by the time Friday rolls around (I promise I clean my house on the weekend!). I have a beautiful sewing machine that I want to learn to use, but I recognize I don’t have enough time in my current schedule. I  budget my time carefully. The piano lessons I give myself? I have a beginner’s workbook, and I tell myself that it’s OK to spend a short ten minutes practicing one or two songs a day. I attend the gym for one hour twice a week and tell myself I chose well.  At the end of the day, I’m tired, but I’m satisfied.

I have found a way to incorporate many of the things I love into my life. My sister has done that same with her many interests and skills. And you know what? You can, too!

Related: Why Millennials Get a Bad Rap

 

A woman looking worried

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is something that affects all of us at different stages in our lives. It’s that moment we walk into something new and feel completely inadequate. Then you panic worrying that someone will call us out as a fraud.

When I walked out of the hospital with my little boy, I  kept looking around waiting for someone to say, “You don’t have enough experience to be a mom! You can’t take him home.” I had only changed one diaper in my entire life before taking my little boy home. How could I be trusted with a brand new baby? However, after establishing a routine over the next few weeks, those feelings of inadequacy started to fade as I realized that my son was happy and healthy.

It’s scary to jump into something new. Whether that’s starting up your blog like we’ve done, jumping into a new field for your career, or starting college not knowing what you want to major in, we know that it takes courage to get the process started.

Related: Advice for the New Blogger: Beyond the First Steps

As millennials, we can’t have it all – and that’s OK! What are you doing in your professional life that brings you satisfaction?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

It's that old lie: You can have it all. The GenX generation was sold on it, but millennials are realizing it's not true. Read our explanation of why millennials can't have it all, and why that's okay.

Why Millennials Can't Have it All

 

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