I read an article on Forbes.com not too long ago that related to millennials. It reported that one in four millennials who live at home do not work or study. I fall into this category, embarrassingly so.
I graduated from High School in 2000 with slightly above average grades. I immediately went to work during the Summer. I dropped out/withdrew from College in 2001.
I didn’t cry, delve into a deep depression, or flounder around for years trying to figure out what to do. I got to work like my parents raised me to.
I subsequentially worked in the customer/guest service industry in some way, form, or fashion for nearly a decade. I acquired 4 years of management experience during that time. The great recession put an end to reliably working in that field and I finally turned to the occupation that got our family to where it is today, coal mining.
I worked for nearly two years as an underground coal miner, I liked the work for the most part. It was other factors that ended up breaking me.
I did break, though. After years of taking on physical and mental abuse in its many forms, I literally lost it all. All around my thirtieth Birthday.
My job went first, then my apartment, then most of the things that I had earned and taken care of myself. Technically, that was after I had lost my confidence, self-respect, dignity, and eventually, the ability to function as a normal human being on daily functions.
I completely stopped taking care of myself. I rarely showered, brushed my teeth, or even fixed myself something to eat.
I slept and sat around on the same couch for the majority of my days.
Somewhere during this period of time, I promise I was operating at the same capacity as a real life zombie.
Even after I had lost it all and moved back in with my family, it took another four years of working dead-end jobs for me to snap out of it all and break away from what was truly killing me; meaningless, joyless, unrewarding employment with companies who had no interest in having their employees thrive outside a working environment. There are a lot of them, I’ve worked for 15 of them to date.
I am not special, I am not unique, but I do genuinely feel like I deserve better than what employers in the area offer.
If you have a work opportunity but, it doesn’t offer what I need in my life to survive, that isn’t my problem. If you can fill the position with someone who is still in High School or just recently graduated, you were going to do that anyway.
I don’t work a “normal” job simply because I can’t live off that kind of income. I could essentially waste another four years pinballing around jobs that I’ve already spent a large portion of my life doing, or I can get creative and use my other abilities, attributes, and talents that I haven’t gotten to use as of yet.
I’ll gladly take the latter, for now.