So let’s talk reality. Today’s young adults go through their own glory days with crushing student loan debt and a severe recession that continues to affect those entering the job market for the first time. Those from every generation can affirm we are living in a time of unprecedented technological and social change, but millennials are doing so in the midst of the formative years when they build their adult lives. While some boomers unfortunately find themselves forced onto the employment exit ramp, millennials trying to launch their career may discover that no clear “on ramp” into the workforce exists at all for them, save for the merry-go-round of low-paying, part-time jobs (or worse, internships!).
I have watched my own 20-something children and some of my young adult friends struggle to find the kinds of mobile, sustainable careers we boomers have had. Some young workers don’t crave those kinds of jobs, choosing instead to make a living through nontraditional outlets that rely on creativity, connectivity, and entrepreneurship.
Either way, we can’t regard the employment issues of millennials as character issues. Many of my peers have tried. When they complain about the slacker, selfie-selfish ways of an entire generation of young adults, there is an implication that boomers have been blessed (if you measure blessing in terms of material possessions) because we did something right.