I graduated college in 2004, and therefore am a member of this so called ‘Lost Generation’. Hope Yen with the Associated Press has taken it upon herself to dub me, my wife, my friends and anyone else in their 20s and 30s as the ‘Lost Generation’. While many of us are out of work, Yen says missed opportunities are causing us to move back home to suck off our parents. Well, Ms. Yen – I take offense to your assumption our generation is “lost“. As a matter of fact, I believe you should focus on your own generation when describing who is lost.
Our generation is not lost. Our generation is working overtime forging its own path; a path that must be hacked through the thick forest of economic failures and lost opportunities caused by a previous generation. We are simply finding our own way in this new jungle.
Richard Freeman, who is cited in Ms. Yen’s article, was right when he said, “Their careers would not be the same way if we had avoided this economic disaster.” Freeman is correct in his thinking, but I see it as a positive rather than a negative. In fact, I believe our careers will be more meaningful and more productive than they would have been without this economic hardship.
Our generation will emerge stronger and lead the US in a new direction. We aren’t sitting at home on our parents’ couches simply waiting for something to come along as Yen has insinuated. We are busy planning the next economic revolution.
We are turning inward to discover what is really important in our lives; not just selling out for the almighty dollar. In reality, the almighty dollar has been tainted with the stench of unearned expectations and pointless printing. We are working to find meaning in our lives. We aren’t looking for jobs; we’re looking for our purpose.
We are like Chris Fagan, Jenny Blake, Keith Winter, and Adam Baker. These four entrepreneurs are just several of the thousands bringing innovative, creative and positive ideas to the table and putting others to work. We have come to the realization that sucking off the teat of bureaucracies is both dangerous and debilitating; whether you meant to teach us or not. It has led us to believe we are all now consultants in this new economic world.
The lost generation is the one that embraced the concept of easy money; a generation that bathed in the cash flow spewing from the faucets of loose regulations and fortunate business cycles. Your generation is the true ‘Lost Generation’ – the one that had the incredible opportunities of wealth in its grasp throughout the 1990s, but has managed to squander the opportunities in favor of living beyond its means.
The truly ‘Lost Generation’ has brought us to where we are today.
But, a bit of advice: don’t turn your back on our generation. We are resilient, inventive, and intellectual. We will be tougher thanks to this economic hardship, and we will survive. Fear not, our generation will find the path.