Panda Hat: That Millennial Worker


eriodically, I vomit up internship applications in hopes that my twenty-sixth cover letter will end up in an internship. Even though I know I don’t have the most impressive resume, I like to think that my experiences in the communications field are adding up to something. But then What-Will-I-Do-With-My-Life (Part 26) hit. I realized that I might want to go into writing and editing.

Looking over my Facebook newsfeed, I’ve seen plenty of articles posted about how millennials are approaching work differently than other generations. One of them, peppily titled “50 Things About Millennials That Make Corporate America Sh*t Its Pants,” went on and on about how our generation isn’t settling, how we’re all looking to live the full-experience life on our terms and other fun “I’m different” proclamations like that. And maybe for some, that brash run of declared talent and idealism works. But in the end, I want a job more than I want to pen a trilogy of young adult books or write an editorial column. I want a stable income, and I want to be able to treat myself and a loved one to vacation or help send my kids to college.

When I started considering that I may want to go more into writing and editing and less into public relations, I was a knot of stress. I felt like I was going back to square one even though communications and writing definitely overlap. I felt unqualified amid the wealth of talent I saw in students around me, and a cloud of stress followed me for two weeks straight.

But then I actually started telling people that I was nervous. And, go figure, my friends and family made me feel better and encouraged me. (If you recall from my last blog post, I had issues communicating with people, too. Being too private is clearly a problem for me). And just telling people that I was nervous, that I was seriously stressed—not just the typical, always-fluttering worry about the future that college students flaunt around—made me feel better.

They helped me see that it’s okay to not know what I want to do. As my stepdad said, the job that I will eventually claim might not even exist yet. I’m not banking on that, but something to remember is that I don’t have to lock in my career path forever. It can change.

At my last internship, one of my co-workers told me he left his previous job because he felt like he had learned everything he could have from that place and wanted to keep growing.

The job that I will eventually claim might not even exist yet. I don’t have to lock in my career path forever. It can change.

Just because I graduate doesn’t mean I can’t change what I want to do. If I go into public relations, I can still write. I can try to hack it out as a freelance writer for a few years, and then I can try to find a job in development. I don’t think I can do anything, but I can eke it out, and I’ll figure it out as I go. For now, I’ll keep trying new things.

So we’ll see how this goes. I have another year left of college after this one’s done. Maybe I’ll give an update. Maybe not, but either way, it’s all about forward motion.