Pressure makes a dull stone into a brilliant diamond, right?
Everything I read is an invitation to join the Millennial Pity Party. You’ve heard the buzz; everyone’s saying the generation of people ages 17 to 35 is debt ridden beyond repair, entitled and lazy, lacking career prospects, essentially hopeless.
Well, contrary to what everyone else thinks, I don’t buy that story. There are three simple reasons why debt isn’t a crushing factor as is commonly believed, but rather a success catalyst for this generation.
They know that investment must generate Return on Investment
Yes, the indebted Millennial generation is wrought with an enormous financial hurdle to overcome.
Here’s a different view on it, though. Every major corporation in the world that wants to grow and be competitive has debt in the millions. Why? Because they know they need to invest in themselves to stay competitive or they will lose out to the next person who does see the value in doing so. Millennials, you invested in your education, one of the only investments whose value only increases with time. Good for you! It’s not like you purchased a boat or a car or went on a huge shopping spree.
What Millennials will learn is that incurring debt by investing in yourself isn’t something to be afraid of. They’ve learned that investment is serious, should be carefully vetted, and has consequences. They’ve learned that debt needs to be managed. Debt is a valuable business tool because it forces the debtor to be disciplined to pay it back. The Millennials who can learn commitment to Return on Investment, or ROI, on their college education will reach success sooner than those who don’t.
They Will Learn That Commitment Is Necessary to Overcome Obstacles
What I am going to say is what separates the real achievers who want to succeed from the crybabies who want to whine and go on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Do the Millennials have it hard? Yes, they do. And here’s why that is a very good thing.
In order to find a job and pay off debt, the average Millennial is probably going to have to work harder than the average Gen X or Baby Boomer. They are going to have to learn what achieving really means. They are going to have to make a commitment to overcoming the challenge of finding employment when jobs are scarce. And once they find it, they are going to have to reinvent themselves over and over again to keep it.
Doing all this will require a level of commitment that so deep and so strong that it will steer those who make that commitment to a higher level of success for the rest of their career. It will be incredibly empowering as they gain the ability to thrive, not just withstand but to prosper, during times of economic instability when the weaker ones fall.
They know how to use technology
The biggest challenge that every business on the planet Earth faces is finding new buyers for their products or services. Given that the world now revolves around the mobile phone, I’m not feeling too bad for the Millennials who know the ins and outs of every major social media channel better than any other age group does.
Why? Sales jobs are the easiest kind to get. And, remember that salespeople are often the highest compensated employees at a company. If they can put attention on figuring out how to sell through the Internet, how to market a company’s product using LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, etc., how to gain massive attention for their companies, they can become handsomely compensated employees with high job career security. Or if they want, they can even go into business for themselves.
This moment of distress presents a tremendous opportunity for those Millennials who play their cards right. For the Millennials who can view the situation as an opportunity rather than a problem that they must inevitably suffer from, starting their career in this economic malaise will be tremendously empowering in years to come.
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