Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why Law Students and Recent Grads Are Unhappy

Okay. I know I promised to be more faithful in updating this blog. I love my work. I love that I'll be heading out to Utah to work with law students at my alma mater, the J. Reuben Clark Law School. I'll also be there to attend my 25th reunion, celebrating the fact that someone actually let me out of law school in the first place. I sort of made it a point to be as loud as possible while I was there; it assured my graduation simply because the dean and faculty wanted some peace and quiet.

As I'm preparing for the program, I came across another worthy and fun website: This week's post was enlightening. I'm part of the lost generation (neither baby boomer nor Gen Y) but the words rang true for me.

You can find it here.

It's a good retelling of the reasons young entrepreneurs and professionals are so frustrated right now. It's also a great explanation of why the sharp knives in my drawer were talking to me last winter. The gist is this: Where our parents and grandparents sought security in their careers, my stepchildren's generation seeks "fulfillment." Note, for example how the phrases have waned and waxed in popularity:

The phrase "secure career" started going out of fashion about the same time I started law school. But a fulfilling career has surged into the public consciousness:

While we're seeking fulfillment, we're bombarded with Facebook Friends who constantly brag about their fabulous careers and fancy offices and trips to Europe. This is discouraging.

The bloggers at Wait But Why have sage advice for those of us who have ditched security in favor of fulfilling:

1) Stay wildly ambitious.  The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success.  The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out—just dive in somewhere.

2) Stop thinking that you're special.  The fact is, right now, you're not special.  You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet.  You can become special by working really hard for a long time.

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.

For a change, I haven't anything to add.