Who knew it was going to be this tough? I had some anxious moments after college and thought, "That party's over. Now what?" It's a whole different world after college and a lot of us are trying to find some way to hang on to the only way of life we've ever known. Growing up happens, though. Every time I think I have this adulting thing down, something new comes along to slap me in the face. Here are some of the adulting changes you can look forward to, so you're not as surprised as I was.
Food's Just Not the Same
College life meant a lot of late night pizza, ramen noodles and as much junk food as you could fit in. And, don't forget the binge drinking. It's different now. An adult binges on Netflix not booze. An adult eats for health, not convenience. Grow to love those veggie burgers. I admit, it's an acquired tasted, but so is a lot of adulthood.
A few of months ago, I started having trouble falling asleep. I felt tired and worn-out. Life seemed to be a series of do-this, do-that chores, not bad, but not good, either. I had accomplished quite a few positives in the last few years. I learned to live in San Francisco on a tight budget. I paid down my student loans. But life seemed like drudge work. I'm young, shouldn't I be enjoying some aspect of my life? I decided to stop and take stock of my life. What could I do to change my outlook? I did a little research and found that others were feeling a lot like me. And, I found some solutions to make my life a richer, more fulfilling experience. Here are some of the tips I found. And, guess what? Most of them don't cost a thing.
Go to the Library
Your local library is a great place to get out of yourself. Turn off your phone and remember what it's like to hold a real book in your hands. Check out the best-sellers list while you're there. Browse the shelves. Find a table far from the computer area and read, just read. Get a library card and take a few books home with you. That way, you have an excuse to go back.
Millennials are labeled the "entitled" generation. The way we approach work and life seemingly upsets the rest of the world somehow. I'm not sure why because there are plenty of movers and shakers in our generation. If your only response to detractors is "Well, there's Mark Zuckerberg...," remind them about these millennials who are taking on the world.
It would be difficult to find a more heroic figure than Malala Yousafzai. Born in 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan, Malala became a girls' education advocate when she was a child. That may not sound so revolutionary except that the Taliban had a strong presence in Mingora. Under Taliban rule, girls are not permitted to attend school and educate themselves. Her vocal support for girls' education, blogging for the BBC about living under threats to deny girls an education, and her famous speech in Peshawar entitled, "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" led the Taliban to issue a death sentence against her. The threat almost succeeded when a Taliban gunman shot Malala in the head in 2012.
If it hasn't happened yet, it will. You will find yourself working with someone, maybe even supervising someone, who is old enough to be your grandparent. To say that millennials and boomers work differently is putting it mildly. In fact, our work habits, strengths and weaknesses are poles apart. Is it possible for the two largest groups in the workforce to work together and do it well? It is. In fact, the millennial/boomer team is formidable when it works. How can you make it work? Let's find out.
A Study in Contrasts
In a March 2016 column, The Guardian reported on an experiment it conducted. A millennial, 28-year-old Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and a 73-year-old boomer, Michele Hanson, traded lives to get a handle on what it's like on the other side. The experiment focused more on lifestyles than work, but both women discovered that though they go at life differently, they each had talents that complemented the other. For example, Rhiannon has great technological skills, Michele wonderful people skills. Put those two talents together and you have a powerful and efficient team.
Depending on who you listen to, millennials are, according to the Freelancers Union, either flocking to freelance work or, according to Fortune magazine, avoiding it in large numbers. No matter who's right, many experts predict that half of the workforce by 2020 will be freelancers and most of those will be millennials. The internet along with advanced technology is turning the tide, allowing people to work from almost anywhere on the planet with a ton of flexibility. Freelancing is the future, but do you have what it takes to become successful at it? Fortunately for us, many of the traits we need to succeed are already ingrained. We grew up with technology and the digital world is second nature to us. Take a look at the following traits to see if you have what it takes.
Do You Have a Marketable Skill?
First things first. What can you do that people will pay for? Are you highly skilled at writing, graphic design, system administration, marketing, social media, project management, accounting or web development? Do you need to take a class or two to solidify your skill set? There are lots of freelance job opportunities as long as you fill a need.
Everybody's talking about it. Many of us are living it. If student loan debt is staring you in the face, you may feel worried, frustrated, discouraged or otherwise anxious about what you owe and wonder how you will ever pay it off. You already tried the usual remedies: deferments, forgiveness and consolidation programs. But that mountain of debt is still there. What's next? How about trying these creative ways to pay off your student loans faster?
Need a Lift?
Ride-share services are growing across the country. Companies like Lyft and Uber need drivers with safe, reliable cars and you need money. You can drive shifts after your normal workday and, if you add a weekend shift, you can make extra money fast. Dedicate the extra cash to paying off your student loans.
In case you somehow missed it, this is a presidential election year. It is admittedly one of the most unusual races in history. We have a business man with no political experience in Donald Trump, we have the first woman topping a major political party's ticket in Hillary Clinton and we have Jill Stein and Gary Johnson heading third-party tickets. The 2016 presidential election has certainly inspired passion. Unfortunately that passion just might turn the family reunion into a family brawl. Is it possible to enjoy family gatherings when everybody's sure they're right? You can. Here's how.
Are You Listening?
Obviously, you care about your family and friends. You know their good points and bad points. Like you, they try to live their lives as best they can. Differences typically occur because each person views life differently. People form beliefs based on how they were raised, how they grew up and life experiences. Do you really think your relative is stupid, greedy or unfeeling because they vote the way they do? OK that could be the case, but it's probably not. Listen to their reasons before thinking about what you're going to say next. See if you can understand where they're coming from. Ask open-ended questions and repeat in your own words what you heard. You may find you're not so different after all.
If you've tossed around the idea of starting your own business, you've probably tried to think of a business model that not only provides enough money to live a reasonable life, but one that makes a difference in the lives of others and the world we live in. It's kind of hard to see how making a profit and giving back can possibly co-exist, but they can. And do. In fact, consumers overwhelmingly choose socially responsible businesses when given a choice. How is it done? Let's find out.
What Does It Mean?
A socially responsible business (SRB) is not necessarily one that directly supports charitable or sustainable causes. You could sell handbags and be an SRB. SRB models are typically for-profit businesses that have built-in strategies for improving the well-being of the local, national or global community within each and every sale. An SRB is structured in a way that makes a profit for owners and shareholders, but also makes contributions toward a sustainable world. Sounds great, doesn't it? How's it done?