This Saturday I was conversing with one of my sisterfriends, and we were lamenting the economic woes of some Generation Xers. We’re the generation after the baby boomers, but before the Millennials. We noted that some of our contemporaries are having a difficult time navigating the requirements for success in this economy. We concluded that our difficulties began with the shift best described by Thomas Friedman in his March 31, 2013, column entitled Need a Job? Invent It: “…there is increasingly no such thing as a high-wage, middle-skilled job- the thing that sustained the middle class in the last generation. Now there is only a high-wage, high-skilled job.” The article then goes on to say that motivation, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration are 21st century skills required for success. We can’t go back in time and change our upbringing that taught us that going to college was all we needed to have a middle-class lifestyle, so I’d like to offer my antidote to Generation Xers for navigating this economy. I figure since too many of us are in careers in which we are undervalued, underpaid and talents underused, we need to create our own paths. We need to follow our bliss!
Sunday’s Houston Chronicle offered a perfect example of why it’s important to follow your passion. It was a story on Colleen Hoover, a Texas mother of three making $9/hour and living in a trailer. She decided to e-publish her book, and to her surprise she had so many downloads that her book became a New York Times bestseller’s list. She has gotten a book deal to publish with a major publishing house. More importantly she was able to move out of the trailer into a real home. Following her bliss has brought her economic freedom that was otherwise unattainable to her. I know it takes courage to go after your heart’s desire, but I believe the alternative is even scarier.
Until next Sunday,
P.S. Colleen Hoover’s blog is found on www.colleenhoover.com
Thomas Friedman’s column referenced is http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/friedman-need-a-job-invent-it.html?_r=0