My open letter to millennials: You’re not wrong, but NJ isn’t for you
They’ve done it… Millennials have officially taken over baby boomers as the largest generation alive. We probably complain more about them than any other generation before or since. There's one reason for that, we're jealous.
There are about 80 million millennials on the planet, and they definitely generate hard eye-rolls from the rest of us. Why? It's because they figured out how to agree as an entire generation to re-set some standards with work-life balance. They have asked for... no, demanded things that generations before never had the nerve to even dream up.
Quite frankly, the generations before are turned off to an attitude of "I need my me time" and I think I know why. We were raised on digging in and getting tough…working for what you want and never giving up. That meant pitting us against each other and making everyone our competition.
For me personally, it also meant moving away from family, working odd shifts, and taking on too many hours to "earn your salt" and "pay your dues." Well, millennials blew that notion up and flipped the script. They came educated and ready to offer something, but not at the cost of their health or inner peace.
As a whole, they agreed to take a breath and improve the quality of their lives. In Europe, they live, rest, eat and talk. They work as well, but it's not at the pinnacle of their lives. They can do this because they collectively agreed on it either consciously or subconsciously, and we're mad we didn’t think of it first.
I’m about to overshare here, but what the hell. I went back to work 9 days after giving birth. Not because I wanted to, but because I knew my job would be in jeopardy the longer I was out. I still had stitches. I was breastfeeding. I cried in the bathroom because I missed my baby but I still went to work at 3 am after being awake all night. Some nights I would not go to sleep, I would just come in.
Why did I do that? I did it because I lived in fear. I did it because I wanted to provide for my new baby that I felt so responsible for. The truth is, I could not have gotten fired for allowing myself time to heal after giving birth, but you could not have convinced me of that at the time. While I was out other women were "filling in" for free just for the opportunity. What does that tell you? This generation knows something we don’t, life is short and life is precious.
Millennials are defined as individuals who were born between 1981 and 1996. Yes, they ask for things like 4-day work weeks, or work-at-home hybrid agreements. They expect unlimited vacations and nap stations so they can recharge. Is this really wrong? Some say yes, some say no but one thing is clear, that lifestyle is wrong for New Jersey.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine where millennials thrive and fail. It turns out NJ ranked 29th on the list for being a haven for the generation. The best states for the millennial ideals? Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Utah and Illinois.
You can see the full list of the states that are best for millennials in order from Wallet Hub here.
I love being proud of my work. I also find it satisfying to work hard. However, being overworked hurts more than your health, it hurts your life quality. Every time you say yes to something, you say no to something else. Do you want to say no to your newborn baby? Balance is key and the wisdom to know what that looks like is priceless.
If you want to take some time to smell the roses, here are some New Jersey attractions you may not have been to and must-see!