One thing that I have always struggled with as a writer has been finding my voice. What exactly does that mean? In technical terms, it is referring to a writer’s style – what makes them unique or stand out. It’s obviously different for each writer and it’s something you develop the more you write. It’s definitely easier the older you get. When you’re young, it’s hard to come up with original prose, mainly because kids lack the experience of developing vocabulary and grammar for writing well. Kids, including teenagers, lack a certain amount of outlook and insight, which is something we gain through time.
I feel like I have gained a lot of outlook and insight, but I can really pinpoint what it is. And this has been hard for me as an adult because I don’t really know what I am good at or what I am interested in. I’m interested in a lot of things. I love photography and writing, makeup and skincare, animals, and fitness. I’m interested in learning more about each of those things. I just don’t know what to do. This is a common problem I see a lot of people in my generation face.
According to pewresearch.org, one-in-three American labor force participants (around 35%) are millennials, which makes millennials the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. And, as of 2017, around 56 million millennials (who were 21 to 36 in 2017) were either working or looking for work. This is ahead of the Generation Xers (53 million) and Baby Boomers (41 million). I think there are many reasons millennials feel more lost in comparison to these two older generations.
It’s been a little over four years since I graduated college and honestly, I feel more lost than ever. I’m only just realizing that the jobs I’ve had have not been a perfect fit and I have not found a job I think is a perfect fit. For instance, I was working at a job as a salesperson and just three months into it, I completely lost interested. I still work and tried to do what I could, I just didn’t feel I honestly had the support I needed to learn what I needed to learn. I don’t do well with jobs I don’t feel passionate about and I know I need to do a job that will help people and benefit society. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it, but I need a job where I can thrive and survive, and I don’t know how to fuckin’ find it.
“So, it seems as though the days when employees would spend decades with one company before retirement are gone.”
According to an article from Forbes, roughly 74% of millennial workers plan to quit their jobs sometime in the near future. Forbes also reports that only 28 percent of workers plan to keep their current job for longer than five years. So, it seems as though the days when employees would spend decades with one company before retirement are gone.
Of course, this is not really great for business. How can they hold onto millennials who like their jobs and what can they do about the ones who don’t? There are a few things companies can do and that begins with understanding what millennials want from a job.
One of the main reasons millennials leave jobs (myself included) is that they want to find a better opportunity. This is a solvable problem. Millennials are looking for career growth and they want to be challenged. And, as I said early, they want to feel as if what they’re doing is meaningful. If more jobs offered opportunities for upward career mobility and regular wage increases, I believe more millennials would be willing to work for jobs for more than just a few months. Millennials want growth and development. We want to feel as though we did not waste our time and money on a degree.
“The voice in our head, the language we speak – it belongs to everyone.“
And this is where I go back to me not being able to find my voice.
I feel like my struggle with finding my voice is the same as my struggle with trying to find a job that works for me. I think what I need to do is stop overthinking things. Anyone else have this problem? I get so worked up about being perfect or trying to be perfect, that I end up stressing out and freaking myself out.
I need to remember that writing is partially individual and partially about learning how to appeal to an audience. To me, writing is about me being able to connect with my community. Language is social and it’s one of the most common ways that we connect as humans. The voice in our head, the language we speak – it belongs to everyone. Words and language connect us to other people, and we are better able to understand each other. And that’s something that is needed now more than ever.
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