The definition of the “American Dream” has definitely evolved over the last several decades. Millennials--and those who are now re-entering the workforce--no longer aspire to be corporate big wigs who spend long hours inside a stuffy cubicle. The modern worker is actually drawn to professions that make good use of their natural talents. Professions like barbers, mechanics, and tattoo artists, are gaining more prestige in the present day because they offer something that many jobs don't: a sense of fulfillment and originality.
Perhaps the major cost of student loans in exchange for a sedentary desk job is not as appealing as it once was. Studies have shown that Generation Y values experiences over material possessions far more than previous generations by 23 percent, which means that personal time is of highest value. Minimalism, a “less is more” lifestyle adopted by many coming of age, is a growing trend that demands more freedom to “live” and less bondage to consumer culture. It, too, contributes to the desire for less clutter, less waste, and more quality time.
Fulfilling a Purpose
While millennials have established a reputation for quickly bouncing from job to job, one study found that 88 percent of millennials said they would stay In a position for more than five years if they were satisfied with the company’s overall purpose. For millennials, the job does not necessarily need to involve saving lives or finding cures to diseases, but if some positive impact can be made from their role, the present-day worker is highly motivated by that sense of fulfillment. Improving someone else's life in some way, such as tattooing a symbol or phrase that represents a significant part of someone’s journey, can give workers the feeling that they are needed, valued, and contributing to the world in a positive way.
This sense of fulfillment comes with the confidence that they are using their natural talents to make a living. Jobs that demand creativity or skills they learned throughout their upbringing seldom require formal education. Even when education is involved, these types of jobs rely heavily on the employee’s intuition, natural talent, and knowledge. The modern worker knows that after years of experience, their signature style will help them make a name for themselves. From tattoos to haircuts to mechanical work, people seek out these skilled individuals because of the unique qualities they offer to the world. This type of satisfaction is difficult -- if not impossible -- to gain in the typical corporate environment.
Millennials would rather enjoy their day-to-day life than endure it, and that means choosing a low-stress job that allows them to use their natural skills rather than learning a new, and possibly more difficult, skill set. In other words: a shorter learning curve equals less stress. Many millennials are placing high value in self-care, and are adopting a more holistic lifestyle with yoga, meditation, and similar practices. The obvious mental and physical advantages of choosing a less conventional job also seem to weigh heavily on the modern worker’s mind. Jobs that require a lot of moving, walking, and/or interacting with others are appealing to millennials because they help to reduce stress and improve the mind in a technology-driven world.
Although millennials are continuously seeking ways to prove to the world just who they really are, job-seekers of all ages today find satisfaction in expressing their personalities. Tattoo artists, barbers, and mechanics have the freedom to work independently, which also brings freedom to express themselves through their workwear and originality.
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