The quar­ter-life-cri­sis of a mil­len­nial

Hamilton News - - COMMUNITY / OPINION - Kelli Pike

Look, I un­der­stand that you need some sort of em­ploy­ment to pay the bills. I get it.

But, is it too much to ask, to be able to align per­sonal val­ues and pur­pose to that job?

When I was young, I thought the goal was to get a good, no . . . great job, earn­ing loads of money so that I could ‘be a suc­cess story’.

I was go­ing to use the skills and abil­i­ties that peo­ple tell me I have — even if it’s bor­ing and mean­ing­less work. I would stay with a com­pany, pro­gress­ing through the ranks un­til a com­fort­able re­tire­ment at 65. I’d have the house, bach and over­seas travel — tick­ing all boxes.

I had am­bi­tion for all of that. But some­thing changed . . .

Af­ter 10 years of work­ing, em­ploy­ment meant sell­ing my soul for eight hours a day and be­ing grate­ful for week­ends. My em­ployer didn’t care about me or even know who I was.

I hated my job, it was bor­ing. My boss was a stupid cow. My com­pany didn’t care about the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of its ex­is­tence.

I couldn’t pay my bills and I was un­happy. I was con­vinced it was all a trap. I had to get out. Cue: Quar­ter-life-cri­sis.

Now. I want to work for a com­pany whose pur­pose is the same as mine. I don’t want to work for a com­pany that treats its staff badly.

I don’t want to spend my day mak­ing loads of money for some­one else, sell­ing a prod­uct no one needs.

“I don’t want your money any more Sir”. I want to be­lieve the words com­ing out of my mouth to cus­tomers. I want to care about the work I’m do­ing. I want to know I’m help­ing cre­ate a fair, pro­gres­sive and vi­brant com­mu­nity. Be­cause why shouldn’t my per­sonal motto mimic a cliched po­lit­i­cal slo­gan?

I had the quar­ter-life-cri­sis. There was no red car, or younger hus­band col­lected in the fall­out.

Be­cause of it, I have twice as long to fig­ure out what is im­por­tant to me and how I want to spend my life.

Bring on more quar­ter-life-crises for mil­len­ni­als this year. The cri­sis of a mean­ing­less life through bad em­ploy­ment is averted.

■ Kelli Pike, known as Kelli from the Tron, is a blog­ger and Free FM pod­caster on po­lit­i­cal, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial is­sues for the city.

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