The Millennial Resume: Taylor Gets a 9 to 5
As a little girl, I dreamed of one day becoming a doctor…
Then I learned that reality is a dream crusher and the thought of spending decades in school was no longer so appealing.
After this short-lived dream dissolved, I didn’t have any specific career goals other than the fact that I knew I wanted a career.
Being a Millennial adult is this incredibly frustrating and confusing mix of wanting to make tons of money but on my own terms, while also not fully understanding how to accomplish this, so basically hoping and dreaming that the answer will magically smack me in the face.
But what did I tell you earlier people? Reality is a dream crusher!
Nothing is going to magically appear, fall into your lap, or stub into your toe… (I don’t get that either).
So, I did what adults do when all other dreams fail: Got my first 9 to 5.
I had been living in Washington DC for about 7 months at this point, and with 3 or 4 dead end internships under my belt, anything that made me some money was acceptable by my standards! I accepted a position at a typical DC acronymic research association after a ridiculous interview in which I don’t recall being asked a single question.
Basically, the job description went something like this: Organize a tiny library, and then once you finish that on the first-day, copy and paste data onto a spreadsheet for 8 hours in a room with no windows and with 3 other people that don’t speak.
Who wouldn’t want that job?!
*Sidenote: I now realize that one of my fatal flaws is my inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a hard time accepting that one day I could move my way up within a company and that my present circumstance is not my forever. Instead, I fixate on how miserable the current situation is.*
As with any first day of work, I woke up jittery, did my hair all cute, put on my best ‘business casual outfit’, and headed for the Metro.
I was the first one at the office and as I waited for someone to show up to let me in, I remember thinking about how great it would be to make a few bucks and be busy for a change. I’m finally doing something with my life!
4 hours in the office pass and by noon I was texting my sister telling her I was ready to quit.
Don’t worry I didn’t quit (yet…)!
The day finally came to an end and as I was walking back to my tiny apartment I realized that I felt like a complete fraud walking the streets of Washington DC in these Zara slacks and button up shirt.
The appeal of having a ‘real’ job has worn off and that dream crushing reality I was talking about earlier hits me at full blast like a pressure washer trying to scrape the moss off of a brick building,
That night I couldn’t sleep due to recurring thoughts about doing the same thing the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Groundhog’s Day is for real people!
But morning comes and my day of counting down the minutes in between copy and pasting begins promptly at 8:00 am. I realized that the only thing that gets me through the day is counting the amount of money I was making each hour, minute, and second.
I think I only lasted at this job for 2 weeks.
The final straw came one night when I was talking, I mean complaining, to a fellow classmate about the misery of sitting at a computer alllll day long. He chuckled a little, and then looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Welcome to the rest of your life.”
I know that sounds like a dang movie scene, but I kid you not that really happened! I then proceeded to go home and cry myself to sleep.
I am someone who has a hard time forcing myself to be miserable. It is almost like a reaction occurs in my body where I physically cannot subject myself to such torture any longer, so suffice to say that no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t work there any longer.
I fully realize that this is the exact scenario that gives Millennials a bad rap in the workplace, but the moral of the story here is that Millennials, such as myself, are looking for more than money as compensation in our jobs. We want to feel like what we are doing is going to make a difference, and for some reason copy and pasting just did not feel substantial enough for me.
My first and hopefully only 9 to 5 came to an abrupt end, and soon after my DC life ended as well when I moved back home…
The silver lining? I got a paycheck a couple weeks later with 400 something bucks on it. Not too shabby for 2 weeks, but definitely not worth the depression.
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