Uncertain About Your Future?
Millennials and Gen-Z Find Common Ground in Analysis Paralysis
With a declared major and one semester left before graduation, #adulting reality is palpably imminent. “What do you want to do with your life?” booms in your head as loudly and unanswerable as it was four years ago upon high school graduation. Your faith that this pivotal answer you seek will simply manifest itself along the way is diminishing rapidly. Welcome to the impending post-college Millennial dilemma.
As the saying goes, misery loves company. Gen-Z (born 1999 and after) are graduating high school feeling the same pressure to answer the question about their future that Millennials are contemplating. Why so early? It’s a self-imposed paralysis based on observation and pessimism. Yet for Gen-Z, it’s less about pressure to resolve and more about resignation of a dismal future.
In a recent Generation Nation™ survey, only 12% of Gen-Z were “optimistic” about the future of the country.1 The Doomsday clock certainly doesn’t help. A recent CNN article reported the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists believes we are closer to a doomsday scenario more than ever.2 That cynicism, coupled with evidence from siblings that a college degree doesn’t always secure a good-paying job, has our soon-to-be and young college-aged students seeking alternatives. “Honey Badger” success is suddenly a plausible option to this generation.
To make matters worse, both generations are watching burned out parents resign from high-paying, but stressful, corporate careers with a vision towards passion and purpose. This fuels a non-hashtag “me too” attitude to follow mom and dad’s newfound free spirit and avoid the corporate crazy train all together.
What makes me an expert on this subject? This is my own household today.
My daughter, a Millennial late-stage college student, is seeking purpose over traditional career options post graduation. Her younger brother, a true-to-form Gen-Z “why bother, robots will be running the world anyway” AP student, graduated high school to embark on a hybrid Gap year. He travelled to Fiji and Europe cataloging amazing life experiences, yet is back home even more confused than before on what he wants to do. As for me, they have observed mom, the 27-year high-paid, stressed out, corporate executive, leave it all to follow her passion and purpose. We are undeniably a case study under one roof. Yet, there’s no need to fear the future, it is much brighter than Doomsdayer’s would have you believe.
So, how does one navigate the turbulent, unchartered water of #adulting? Leader Corps.
Leader Corps, a ground-breaking program developed by seasoned executives in partnership with the expert student travel company, Rustic Pathways, is designed to create a future generation of leaders who have genuine self-awareness, empathy, and demonstrable skills. The curriculum blueprint is a model specifically for college-aged students (18-23) to help define a strategic plan centered on personal strengths, values, interests, and possibilities, while broadening global perspective through immersive travel. It’s the safe space to explore ideas, fears, insecurities, and anxieties about the future and then turn them upside-down to create a meaningful personal action plan.
Once students clarify self-interests and an awareness of their true potential, my team of fellow business leaders and I will teach the most pertinent skills for students to hit the ground running such as; effective succinct communication, interview skills and stories, pragmatic reasoning, and influencing skills. Regardless of your path, whether corporate career, social worker, or You-tube sensation, these skills are critical to success in the world of #adulting. All of this learning occurs while making life-long friendships with peers facing similar challenges in an exciting, experiential adventure lead by incredible Rustic Pathways guides. Yes, if you’re wondering, my kids are the next cohort to go through the model.
So, if you are reading this while at Starbucks surfing Instagram, or in your childhood bedroom avoiding questions from mom and dad about what you plan to do with your life, give us a call. Not only can Leader Corps arm you with well-reasoned answers, but those answers will set you on a path towards living a life that maximizes your potential and personal fulfillment. Who knows, maybe we’ll create the next Honey Badger together.
If you would like further support on this or any other issue, click here to contact 6th Power for a free consultation to see if 6th Power can help you achieve your maximum potential.
About the Author – Kristin DangananKristin is the Founder and CEO of 6th Power™, a business that focuses on helping individuals and organizations maximize their potential through personal coaching, motivational speaking, and group training events. The goal is to first unlock the individual’s potential and happiness which in turn unlocks the value for the benefiting company and community. Kristin draws on her prior success as a global strategic sales and capability leader at PepsiCo, her CLI™ Executive Power Coach training, and her multiple keynote experiences inspiring others to clear their mental clutter and maximize their potential. Kristin is a +20-year veteran of PepsiCo as a strategic executive, a mom of two active children (Kendall 21 and Mikey 17), and is an adventure enthusiast that in her free time can either be caught jumping out of an airplane, catching waves on her 8’ Walden, or traveling the globe to explore any new country or culture that inspires her. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida with her husband Mike and soon-to-be college student Mikey.
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