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    Wait But WhyTim Urban9/9/138 min
    15 reads6 comments
    Wait But Why
    15 reads
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    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      2 years ago

      Really well laid out theory - totally makes sense. But I’m the baby boomer, so I would love to hear from the GYPSY’s out there. Do you feel this resonates with you?

      • Florian2 years ago

        Oh yeah, 100% 🤣 (adding an emoji like a millennial despite being gen Y)

        • Pegeen
          Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
          2 years ago

          Thank you. Your above comment made me laugh out loud!

      • chronotope2 years ago

        I think this is part of the issue, for sure. And all the advice at the end is good. But I also think it manages to ignore the reality of the huge economic effects at play that impacted the careers and lives of millennials, along with the factors created by a graying workforce that (in part because of the same economic issues) has not retired at the same rate as the previous generation. It misses those issues in a big way for 2013, and even more so through the lens of today.

        I won't criticize this article from the lens of today, which makes the inequality of economic support even more clear, but I will from the stance of 2015, when I was more familiar with the topics and actively writing on this topic.

        In 2014 1 in 3 Americans worked freelance, a major change that robs those workers from access to healthcare, retirement funds, and a standard career path. At that time it was projected that freelancers would become 40% of the workforce by today (current pre-COVID estimates range between 35% and 50%).

        Millennials job hop, some by choice, but many because there is no longer a traditional promotion structure, which means if you want a raise within the lower half of professional positions you need to job hop. I've talked with employees who say the expect that from employees now. This is exacerbated by the state of employment increasingly trending towards At Will (http://dollarsandsense.org/archives/2014/0314friedman.html) which creates for unstable for unstable employment and pushes towards Gig jobs (https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-gig-economy)

        Then there are Gig Economy jobs, which pay less, and take more work, see these excellent articles for more info:

        Then there is the decline of unions which means it is harder than ever to get a stable job with good pay and an actual potential for retirement. It also allows unhealthy working environments with greater stress to form ( https://qz.com/261379/americans-dont-just-work-longer-hours-they-also-work-stranger-hours/ & https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speed-up-american-workers-long-hours/ ). It also creates another major change - the end of pensions - https://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2012/10/17/pensions-disappearing-for-new-employees-at-big-firms-study/

        All of these things are present and in the awareness of the Millennial / Gen Y cohort of workers and have far more to do with their unhappiness then too much time looking at the 'grams.

        I'd recommend checking out "Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials" for a more historically aware and numbers-based approach the answering this question, one that places it in a broader but much needed context. It's a tight quick-to-read non-fiction book from an excellent economist and worth checking out.

    • Florian2 years ago

      This needs to be AOTD! Great article.

      Even right now, the GYPSYs reading this are thinking, “Good point…but I actually am one of the few special ones”—and this is the problem.

      That’s totally me!

    • deephdave
      Top reader of all time
      2 years ago

      Cal Newport points out that “follow your passion” is a catchphrase that has only gotten going in the last 20 years, according to Google’s Ngram viewer, a tool that shows how prominently a given phrase appears in English print over any period of time. The same Ngram viewer shows that the phrase “a secure career” has gone out of style, just as the phrase “a fulfilling career” has gotten hot.

      Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.