The Millenials’ Pursuit of Purpose


By Thamar Jones
Today’s young adults, myself included, have been nurtured to value happiness and personal satisfaction a great deal. Young people today more than ever are pursuing lifestyles that are authentic to their personal ideals. There is a hyper-awareness to “living in the moment” and “living one’s best life”, which pushes us to go after the things that are immediately gratifying. We feel a certain pressure to be happy at all times, which is perhaps the number one reason we are so often dissatisfied with life in general.
Throughout workplaces for example, millennials are likely to be discontent with their full-time job, even after landing the job that was personally sought after. This has led to a culture of young employees who seek out a side-hustle.
A side-hustle is something a person does that earns them money to supplement their main income. It may be a part-time job or freelance work; other times it is a volunteer role or even building one’s own business.
Many people start a side hustle out of necessity. The main job is simply not covering the cost of living that “best life”.
In an age where technology is literally at our finger tips, the World Wide Web provides a wealth of options for ambitious individuals to develop creative ways of making side income. Online sales and trade for example, is becoming a booming trend in Belize. This option is popular with folks who want to keep a fluid schedule, but want to maximise their grind and boost their income.
But it is not all about the money; lack of purpose in our work, inability to develop our skills, and desire to discover more outside the bounds of a traditional job are all reasons that millennials are going hard for the side-hustle.
Yes, millennials use side-hustles as a way to pursue our purpose. More studies are revealing that millennials seek to work for organizations that align with their purpose and passion. Exploring how and where companies give back to their communities is the norm for a millennial job candidate. Yet, millennials often feel unsettled and too far removed from the purpose they are pursuing in their daily work. Since some can’t afford to quit their job to follow their passions, they adopt a side hustle to fill that gap.
Examples of this include employees that volunteer their time regularly outside of work, develop a side business that serves the underprivileged, or professionals who provide pro bono work for projects that they care about.
Next to frequent advancement in their career, millennials are known for our desire to learn new skills. Traditional careers often have boundaries on our ability to gain new skills. For example, accountants are rarely offered opportunities to develop Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills, often reserved for those in the marketing department.
Side hustles offer the ability to pursue skills development for personal satisfaction, or for the purpose of changing careers. If you aren’t in your dream job or are hoping to switch roles in the future, taking on a side-hustle can get your foot in the door of a new industry.
Maybe social media is to blame, but millennials need freedom to explore and travel. Our drive to discover runs deep and is likely ingrained by our upbringing filled with information availability. The problem arises when we start our full-time jobs and are only allowed two weeks off per year. After weddings, family events, and necessary personal time, there is not much time left with which to explore new places as we had wished. So a huge motivation for millennials turning to side-hustles is the desire to create financial and time freedom in our lives. We want to be able to travel, experience, and not be burdened by debt doing it.
Side hustles bring in the additional income needed for a few months off between jobs to travel. Further, some pursue a side hustle with the hopes of making that their primary income at some point while they pursue travel plans.
While you may read this and start brainstorming your side hustle options, you must know that maintaining two pursuits is not for the faint of heart. The worst part of having a side hustle on top of a full-time job is finding a balance in life. On top of working full-time and having a side business, I am also trying to work out more, date more, spend time with friends more. There is so much more in my life and not enough time to make it all happen. It’s important to weigh priorities when considering what type of side hustle to pursue, if any. There are only 24 hours in each day and time management is key for those who take on the double responsibilities.
(This “living your best life” pursuit is exhausting, I tell you!)