Societal, family, peer … I guarantee we’ve all felt it from one source or another.
As a “millenial“, I’d say one common pressure felt by a lot of Gen Ys and Zs is that university degrees allow you to achieve your dreams.
*insert eye roll*
For the record, I am not saying university is a bad place to be, especially if you need and / or want a particular degree (says the chick with 2 degrees herself). BUT, what I am saying is presenting university as the best place to be is misleading people whose wants lie elsewhere.
Alternatively, in the past year or so, I’ve noticed a huge push on social media for entrepreneurship.
Similar to the idea of attending university, entrepreneurship itself is not a bad thing (and I personally think it is a great alternative or complement to university based on the way the education system seems to be headed). BUT entrepreneurship should also not be presented as the best option for young people.
Let me provide some examples to better explain why.
Example 1) The other day I saw an Instagram post that said something like “most of us serve a life sentence in a 9-5 job.” … this person actually compared a life prison sentence to legitimate work. Seriously!? I can see what they might’ve meant but I think that comparison is both dramatic and unfair.
Example 2) The same night I saw a Facebook post where someone mentioned that “entrepreneurship is the most courageous thing to do on this planet”. Yes, that was the exact quote. The most courageous thing!? What about firefighters who often literally risk their physical wellbeing just by doing their job? Or those who go to the police after being raped? Or those who realize that they hurt someone in the past and need to apologize? Or neurosurgeons? Or people just trying to live in war torn countries!?!
Simply put, I do not recommend we push people in the wrong direction by telling them university is the best place to be, but it is equally as dangerous to push people into entrepreneurship. Instead, I think we should encourage people to be problem solvers and teach them how to grow within the career of their choosing.
If you want to promote entrepreneurship because you think it is amazing and we need more entrepreneurs in the world, go for it. I might actually agree with you. But to tell people that having a 9-5 job working for an employer is a bad decision!? Stop. And then to say entrepreneurship is the most courageous thing to do on the planet!?…..that is just wrong.
A 9-5 can provide you with benefits, a good wage, minimal stress compared to entrepreneurship, and work-life balance. That sounds freaking awesome to me. In fact, I lived that life for 3 years and I have no complaints about it.
Telling a mass number of people that working a 9-5 is like going to prison, is a very bad idea (if you ask me) and you’re probably not doing the world any favours. Imagine we lived in a world where we had more entrepreneurs than employees. How would any business survive? The entrepreneurs wouldn’t have anyone to work at their companies! The world needs journalists and sales associates and dental assistants just like it needs people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. And people who choose to work as employees instead of employers are hopefully doing it because they want to and because they are capable of that style of work.
Instead of making entrepreneurship the end-all be-all, I think we should advertise creativity.
We should tell people, that no matter what their job is, they should read books and problem solve on a daily basis so that they can make their place of work (where ever that may be) operate more efficiently. That might mean inventing an electric car, proposing a new curriculum for primary school students, or having the courage to propose a new working style to your manager.
So before you hop on social media to bash or promote a certain lifestyle, please consider something the world may actually need more of: creativity, analytical thinking, courage, and logic.
Work hard, be smart, and remember what’s right for you might not be right for the person next to you.
As always, Happy Monday ❤✌
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