We’ve had it drilled into our heads since we knew what a ‘university’ was, we’ve been steered away from children before 30 and we pretty much have no idea how benefits work.
We are the generation that haven’t really had an excuse not to have a career, to aim high, to keep going, because our academic and professional successes will be exactly how we will be deemed a success by our peers and parents. Or so it feels.
Was the word happiness ever really mentioned in there? Not really.
But, we appear to be fighting back, having had enough of battling our way to a career. Because, guess what, success in the workplace doesn’t make you happy. Who knew?
I’ve started hearing it over glasses of wine with friends, murmurs of it on personal blogs, that we kind of don’t want to keep leapfrogging our way up a career ladder, we kind of want to stay put.
We’re quite happy settling for a ‘mediocre’ job if it means we don’t work overtime, don’t spend all weekend engulfed in stress and worry and don’t take our work head home with us.
And this isn’t from people who have been out in the professional world for a decade, this is people who graduated university about three years ago, and have thought FUCK IT ALL, I want a life, I want happiness, I want children, I want to stop my entire existence revolving around commuting and emails and meetings, I want happiness.
I’m included in all of the schpiel above, naturally.
Yes, I’ll be honest, it’s mostly girls I’ve been hearing it from. I am forever grateful for the strides of previous generations for gender equality, but I don’t want the pressure of having to work as hard as a man in an office. It’s just not the way I’m built. It’s not the way we’ve ever been built.
What I am saying is, take the pressure off yourself, think about what actually makes you happy, and if it’s the things that don’t involve work, then that is perfectly OK.
Remember, nobody ever died wishing that they had worked harder or for longer.
If you want to take off to travel the world, want to settle down and have a family, or just want more time to spend time with the people who mean the most to you, don’t beat yourself up.
Going upwards in a career really isn’t everything.