American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2010 Jul 08
An interesting read the other day in the New York Times, "American Dream is Elusive for New Generation"... The gist of the article is that finding a job or career of choice is difficult for recently college graduated Millennials - which puts a damper on their pursuit of the American Dream.
The article chronicles the experience of a 24-year-old recent college graduate, who turned down a job with a $40K annual salary because, the article notes, "Rather than waste early years in dead-end work, he reasoned, he would hold out for a corporate position that would draw on his college training and put him, as he sees it, on the bottom rungs of a career ladder."
The article leaves me with lingering questions: Is pursuit of the American Dream too small as the driving force of one's life purpose? Is this young man's journey representative of his generation or does it just reflect one segment of Millennials (and perhaps a minority segment, at that)? Have his parents and grandparents behaviors equipped him with a skewed sense of entitlement (his parents are paying $2,000 a month for his apartment rent, and his grandparents paid for his college)? Are the notions of personal responsibility and character building no longer meaningful today?
I'm not sure there are clear-cut answers, but the article does provide some food for thought...
After breakfast, his parents left for their jobs, and Scott Nicholson, alone in the house in this comfortable suburb west of Boston, went to his laptop in the living room. He had placed it on a small table that his mother had used for a vase of flowers until her unemployed son found himself reluctantly stuck at home.
The daily routine seldom varied. Mr. Nicholson, 24, a graduate of Colgate University, winner of a dean's award for academic excellence, spent his mornings searching corporate Web sites for suitable job openings. When he found one, he mailed off a résumé and cover letter — four or five a week, week after week.
Over the last five months, only one job materialized. After several interviews, the Hanover Insurance Group in nearby Worcester offered to hire him as an associate claims adjuster, at $40,000 a year. But even before the formal offer, Mr. Nicholson had decided not to take the job.
Rather than waste early years in dead-end work, he reasoned, he would hold out for a corporate position that would draw on his college training and put him, as he sees it, on the bottom rungs of a career ladder.
"The conversation I'm going to have with my parents now that I've turned down this job is more of a concern to me than turning down the job," he said.
Source: New York Times