4.2 min readPublished On: March 31, 2020

Burned out and out of options

Millennials want more acceptance for facing student debt, low-paying jobs and high expectations.

Story: Victoria Schlabig 

Millennials grew up in a much different world than preceding generations, not only due to constant technological advances but also because of changes in the job market and economy, and the rising cost of higher education. 

Many millennials have learned to live by the motto “Work smarter, not harder,” because they know that as the world gets more advanced, they need to keep up with it by finding easier, faster ways to accomplish tasks. Older generations often identify this as laziness or carelessness.

In turn, this forces millennials to work harder to prove their worth in the workplace. They work longer hours and second or third jobs in order to pay the bills, leading to burnout and frustration.

I spoke with fellow millennials about their experiences: 

Sarah Campbell  |  32  |  Personal Lines Customer Service Representative  |  Lives in Tavares

Have you experienced burnout?
Absolutely! Many times in many different jobs/positions. It’s had a direct impact on both my physical and mental health over the years.

Why do you think older generations view millennials as lazy or oversensitive?
The trite phrases “Well, we/I didn’t have the things you have” or “You have it so easy these days” have become the default response to a millennial “complaint.” We’re pressed with this guilt that, yes, perhaps we do have things easier than our parents/grandparents did; now we feel the need to prove our worth as individuals to negate that guilt. We overwork ourselves mentally and physically to meet a set of standards we are told we should meet without ever seeing the end goal. We work ourselves into burnout and when we ask for a break, we’re “complaining.”

How do you cope with stress?
Venting is key, because letting negativity fester inside will start carrying over into other non-work-related activities. Then you have no break, no relief from the stress. 

Nixie Cienfuegos  |  25  |  Pharmacy Technician  |  Works in Tavares

Have you experienced burnout?
I continue to feel burnt out because I constantly feel like I always have to be striving for greatness. There’s a feeling of “What’s next?” and “What other goal can I achieve?” and constantly feeling pressured by expectations from parents and society, as well as always comparing myself to others.

Why are millennials known as the “burnout generation”?
Millennials are constantly overworked with the idea that they have to be successful in their career in order to be satisfied with their life. I also believe social media constantly makes us feel like we have to be “living our best life,” which has led us to all have a fear of failure.

How do you cope with stress?
When I feel stressed out, I go for a walk/jog, practice breathing exercises or sip on a glass of wine. 

Jessica Gonzales  |  26  |  Waitress and College Student  |  Lives in Mount Dora

Why are millennials known as the “burnout generation”?
We’re burnt out due to the demand or expectation to exceed at something to stand out. Millennials have to walk into the world working twice as hard at a job that doesn’t pay enough to live in the current state of the economy. Wages today don’t match up with the necessary things we need to live a decent way of life, thus creating frustrated millennials who put in a lot of work and get little out of it. 

How do you cope with stress?
I work out and watch Netflix.

Shane Siddens  |  28  |  Telecom Sales Marketing and Navy Reserve  |  Lives in Lake Mary

Why are millennials known as the “burnout generation”?
Maybe millennials have it harder, but they also have a lot given to them.

Why do you think older generations view millennials as lazy or oversensitive?
Older generations worked hard, and so do the younger ones. We just live in an age where the outside threats of the world are not bearing down on us. Lots of accommodations are provided to us millennials, depending on the area we live in and the wealth we may have already had from how we grew up. Some people in (the millennial generation and Gen Z) don’t have a sense of urgency to work as hard as the older generations did before, say, in the early ’90s.

How do you cope with stress?
I play video games or relax with my girlfriend to watch some movies.

By the numbers

  • Millennials are the group born from 1981-1996 and they range in age from 23-39 in 2020.
  • The price of a four-year college degree increased by 68% since the 1999-2000 school year. (Forbes)
  • Millennials in the 2018 graduating class have an average student-loan debt of $29,800. (Business Insider)
  • More than 80% of people ages 22-35 with student debt who haven’t bought a house yet blame their educational loans, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • 23% of millennials live with their parents (at home) on average. (Forbes)
  • Generation X and baby boomers make 18% and 27% more money, respectively, than millennials. (Pew Research Center)

About the Author: Akers Editorial


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