Freelancing vs. 9-5, the Millennial Dilemma.

woman leaning on wall

If you are a millennial, your parents were probably born in the 60’s, a time where struggle was the order of the day. We think there is struggle now, but the 60’s were a different monster. It was a time of government sanctioned racial discrimination, social strife, and little access to education. People who had desk jobs were heralded as the leaders of society because of the incomes they secured for themselves.

This history is important if you are to understand the mindset of our parents. Telling your parents that you have chosen the online freelancer lifestyle over the traditional 9 to 5 is almost like coming out of the closet in some families. The news is met with shock, disbelief, and attempts to make you “see reason” so that you can go back to your senses and go back to your job.

Parents, for the life of them, cannot understand why their sons or daughters would want to forego the prestige of having a fancy title, a shiny occupational card, and the opportunity to dress in a suit and have a desk at a fancy office. The criticism freelancer millennials get is something like, “we paid for your education so that you can get a proper job.” To parents, a work from home lifestyle is a lazy spirit that must be exorcised at all costs.

A lot of millennials buckle under this kind of pressure. They go on to get degrees they won’t put to use, they work jobs they hate, submit to bosses they want to punch in the face, and even marry when they are not ready. Can we blame millennials that buckle under the pressure for their predicament? Some would say yes, and some would say that millennials grew up at a time of relative peace.. a time where human freedoms were being secured; so they don’t have the thick skin their parents had when they were young.

Defiant millennials on the other hand can’t for the life of them understand why their parents are so hard-pressed about their lifestyles. They carry around the “my life my choice,” and the, “I am not asking you for money so leave me alone,” mentality. A lot of them have had the experience of dealing with dirt-bag bosses and shit jobs to just strive for something better. Unlike their parents who believe in loyal, unquestioned servitude and submitting to bosses; they want to become their own bosses.

The question then becomes, “who is right?” The old-school parents who believe in traditional employment, job security, benefits, and servitude? Or millennials who crave freedom, take more risks, and want to fulfill their own destiny? It really depends on an individuals’ values. A millennial who has grown up seeing their parents put food on the table and get things done through a 9-5 might just seek to go that same route and stick to it if they find it bearable. A millennial who grew up the same way, experienced the 9-5, and is now tired of it, might seek the freelancer lifestyle. Both of these types of millennials would be right in their actions. Problems arise when they face unnecessary pressure to do things contrary to their value systems.

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