Monday, September 16, 2013

Boomerang Kids – Is It Always the Lack of Good Jobs? Or could it be, in part, the Inability for Many Young People to Start at the Bottom?

Boomerang Kids – Is It Always the Lack of Good Jobs? Or could it be, in part, the Inability for Many Young People to Start at the Bottom?

There was absolutely no thought that my siblings and I would live at home after graduating university for any length of time.  Our parents raised us to be independent. It was always made clear that we would have a roof over our heads for a limited amount of time in a crisis; however, once the birds were kicked out of the nest, we were on our own. I thank my parents for creating independent beings of us. We’ve all had struggles; but we’ve also survived because we understood that we would not live the life of Riley upon entering the real world.

I’ve seen too many young people return home to live with their parents because they couldn’t find a job that would afford them the lifestyles they had become accustomed to at home. They want a modern apartment, no roommates, all of the electronic media, a newer car, all of the cable channels, nice furniture and cash to spend on clothes and entertainment. Some return to school for graduate degrees hoping and succeeding in putting off an independent life while living on the parental dole. I’ve friends and relatives have put off their own retirements because they have footed the bills for adult children to attend graduate school while living carefree and believing that is owed to them. Unfortunately, many of those benefiting from the misplaced generosity of their parents do not appreciate the gift.

My parents generously agreed to provide each of us with an undergraduate education. For anything beyond that, it was made clear we would pursue those aspirations on our own. For my undergraduate education I am grateful. For the spirit of independence I am grateful.  I did not expect to enjoy the comforts I’d come to appreciate when I started my adult life.  My furniture was modern American Goodwill.  I had roommates. My first job was as a trainee and my first apartment was somewhat ratty in a less than desirable neighborhood. But I turned an opportunity into a career that has treated me well. My husband built his own life with grit, determination and innate intelligence. My brother has shown resilience through tough times. My sister earned her PhD through her own determination and financial planning while raising a family. 

Those challenging times in the infancies of our adult lives made us appreciate what we ultimate earned – nicer houses, nicer cars, comfort and a sense of accomplishment. We knew we had to start at the bottom and earn our placed in the world.

And that is why I celebrate that my parents were able to retire at a reasonable age and why I would rather share whatever I have with the educational charity my parents have started than with the younger generation in the family.

While, no doubt, there are some young graduates who truly can’t find a job; there are others who can’t find the job they want. Oh, too bad. Take a job, any job and start your life. It is always easier to find another job when you have one. Success is a process. And remember, most truly successful people have fallen on their face at least once. 

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