The Millennial Fear Factor: Jobs and Debt

    By Tru Pettigrew | Small Business

    The Millennial Fear Factor: Jobs and Debt image millennial student loansThe Millennial Fear Factor: Jobs and Debt

    Have you ever eaten beetles or submerged yourself in a container full of snakes? These are some of the antics that were required to emerge victorious on the old stunt based reality TV show Fear Factor. It appears as if Millennials now have their own version of Fear Factor. The challenges they have to overcome in this version, however, are a lot scarier than beetles and snakes.

    This version of Fear Factor is also not a reality television show where the winner gets paid $50,000. It’s simply their reality. It’s the reality of double-digit youth and young adult unemployment combined with a national student loan debt of over 1 trillion dollars. These challenges create a number of fear factors for millennials.

    There is the fear factor of not being able to get a job or at least getting a job that allows you to pay off your debt. There is the fear factor of not being able to afford to start a family or to buy a house. There is the fear factor of never being able to live a debt free life and achieve their vision of the American Dream. Even in the midst of these well-documented fear factors I am encouraged.

    I am encouraged because I know this generation. This is a generations whose faith is bigger than their fears. This is a generation of resilient and resourceful go-getters. It obviously takes more than a go-getter attitude to overcome obstacles, particularly obstacles of this magnitude. It requires proper planning and hard work. I see that planning and work starting to take place.

    I see many millennials exploring entrepreneurship. This is great because it helps you to become gainfully employed while also creating career opportunities for others.

    I also notice more millennials considering vocational and trade schools. This can place you in the job market faster with an in-demand skill and a lot less debt. This can also lead to entrepreneurship.

    More millennials are starting to evaluate the ROI of their under graduate and post graduate choices. This helps to minimize student loan debt and helps to better manage finances by properly managing expectations on the front end.

    All of the above are great approaches to consider. It also requires a lot of help to overcome these fear factor challenges. You can’t do it alone. I encourage millennials to find mentors, coaches and organizations to align your self with. Leverage the experience, expertise and relationships of those that have come before you. And continue to place faith over fear. We’re all in this together.

    “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words.”

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