Posts Tagged ‘Hana R. Alberts’

Undecided? Numbers say you’re in good company

If Hana R. Alberts is right about quarter-lifers being the hardest hit by the choice conundrum, there are a lot of twenty somethings out there scratching their heads, trying to make up their minds. The census bureau reports that there are some 75 million millenials (born between 1980 and 1995) among us.

Of those millennials, 1.7 million are women who graduated from college this June. If you’re one of them, you’re out there right now, casting about for something to do that comes with a paycheck, right?

Once you do find that job (trust me, you will) you’ll likely follow your big sisters’ footsteps — and get a new one: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average tenure of 25 – 34 year-old women in any one job is 2.6 years.

You may even do a couple of jobs simultaneously. According to Tina Brown, an exclusive poll commissioned by “The Daily Beast” found that one-third of the respondents—college-educated workers over 18—reported that they were either working freelance or two jobs. A few weeks later, Brown told NPR that in light of what she calls the gig economy, “the word ‘career’ is going to become antiquated.” In other words, more choices still.

And sooner or later, you’ll move. A recent Pew Research study on “movers and stayers” found that 77 percent of college graduates have changed communities at least once, and are more likely to have lived in multiple states. Sixty-five percent of women classify themselves as “movers” rather than “stayers,” and 45 percent of those who have moved say they will move again.

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Woe be the quarterlifers: a generation of folks between the ages of 18 and 34 that’s sixty million strong, according to Hana R. Alberts in her recent Forbes.com piece “The Economics of Quarterlife.” It’s a generation she describes as “confused and even paralyzed by too many choices and a lack of direction…” And quarterlife is a time, she writes, filled with landmarks like first jobs, first apartments, first loves, first children–and with those landmarks, loads of which-way-should-I-gos:

These landmarks raise a lot of questions too, some banal and others weighty. Should I live with a roommate or live alone? At home or abroad? Work or go back to school? Do something I love or make money? Keep my hair long (unruly, like a teenager) or short (neat, like an adult)? Now that I’m out on my own (mentally if not always physically), what are my politics, my values, goals, desires? What is my role with respect to my parents, my colleagues, my friends, my romantic interests?

Those are some serious questions. What do you think? Do these questions resonate? Are these issues particular to quarterlifers? And how, pray tell, do you go about answering them?

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