"I HAD ACHIEVED MY GOAL OF WRITING FOR A LIVING, BUT I WAS UNINSPIRED, UNCHALLENGED, AND DISILLUSIONED."
Mariah Ore had just turned 24 when she decided to quit her first professional job and work as a hospitality "gal" at a fishing lodge in Alaska. What was she seeking? Freedom. Meaning. Something more.
This story is far from exceptional -- in fact, it's commonplace. All around the world, twenty-somethings (and thirty-somethings) or "millennials," as they've been dubbed, when faced with the prospect of following a secure and traditional path, opt instead to find an alternative.
While much of this restlessness is simply a trademark of young adulthood spanning millennia, certain characteristics may be endemic to millennials -- a generation whose lives have been shaped through increased connectivity, access to technology, and ubiquitous college degrees. The world is changing, and just as historical trends and events affected previous generations as they came of age, our current world affects millennials -- our future leaders -- now.
So, who are millennials really? Marketing polls say we want to own less stuff and have more experiences. Political polls say we're socially liberal and overall disillusioned withe the political system. We're environmentally conscious, because we grew up knowing about global warming. We're entrepreneurs because we know enough about the technological world to use it tour advantage. We see flaws. We want to try new approaches to old problems. We care less about the American dream.
Basically, we're idealists, and that's a good thing: Not only are we seeking more, but we actually believe that "more" is out there.
So here's what we want to know: is it really -- in an actionable way -- out there? And what does "more" look like to millennials? How is the world changing? What are our values?
"Choices" is part 1 of an interview series exploring these very concepts. In it, you can hear Mariah tell her side of the story -- just a normal quarter-life crisis.