Why Gen Y is so Unhappy (and What We Can Do About It)

This guest post was written by Alicia, her full bio is at the end of the post. 

All generations have particular issues and mindsets that define their lives to a large degree. Each generation’s characteristics even impact the next one. The Greatest Generation grew up during the Depression and became frugal and focused on economic security. Post-war Baby Boomers were raised to have an optimistic view of the future and see hard work as a way of reaching their goals. Generation Yers, on the other hand, are having a bit of an identity crisis.

This generation, born from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, want what their parents had and more, but are finding that things aren’t turning out as they’d hoped. Why is this? There are several reasons Generation Y’s lives are not meeting their expectations.

Why Gen Y is so Unhappy // Genpink

Optimistic Baby Boomers raised their children to believe they could be whatever they wanted to be to the point of perhaps overinflating their egos and sense of self-importance. Why settle for good when you can have better? Gen Y tends to feel that they can have more, and do better than their parents, because they are entitled to do so.

Generation Y is Overly Ambitious

For Generation Y, a secure and stable career is not unique enough. They want a fulfilling dream career. Economic security is not enough for them; they need something to make them feel worthwhile and special awhile maintaining a perfect work and life balance.

Although this is certainly a worthy goal, it is also a bit unrealistic. Generation Y feels they stand out from the crowd and are deserving of a meaningful career that puts them at center stage of their own lives. For them, a great career is a given, not something that is reached after years of hard work as their parents felt. It’s what they deserve.

Unfortunately, the world does not work that way. It does take years of hard work and dedication to attain success; it’s not something that is just handed to you (in most cases). Generation Y ends up finding that out the hard way. Unrealistic expectations, resistance to negative feedback and an inflated sense of self are not traits that go very far in the workplace. In this regard, Generation Y gets a cold dose of reality that comes nowhere near their expectations.

Generation Y Lives in the Public Eye

Another problem that plagues Generation Y is social media. They are used to making every aspect of their lives open for the world to see, and in general people tend to present an inflated version of themselves online. Those who do well in their careers tend to talk themselves up, while those who aren’t doing so well may keep quieter about it.

They won’t disparage themselves, however. So if someone’s career in pest control or singing or as a chef is not going well, they will not broadcast that fact for the world to see. This leads Generation Y to believe everyone is doing better than them.

How Can Gen Y Get Happy?

Although there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, Generation Yers should tone down their expectations and realize that hard work and dedication will indeed pay off. Also, come to terms with the fact that you are not as special as you think or better than everyone else. You can embrace your own unique qualities, but those qualities do not make you the best person ever.

In addition, Generation Y needs to ignore everyone else and just do their own thing. Don’t compare your lives to others or believe everything you read on social-media sites, just live your own life and make the most of it. If you have, get rid of social media so you aren’t plagued with the false idea that you aren’t where you should be.

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