Last Great American Dynasty

Mill Stream Staff

We’re told we don’t want to work. We’re lazy. We’re letting technology run our lives. We can’t climb the corporate ladder. We can’t be successful. But, we’re not going to fall for that. Together, younger generations are fighting back against the traditional 9-5 working trends. We are tired of older generations telling us that we do not meet their expectations on what working should be and blaming the economic troubles on our so-called social media-melted brains. We know we deserve better. 

The truth behind our method is that we are working. We are working in stores, restaurants, and even online. We are exploring new ways to create a future for ourselves within the world we live in. Teenagers have discovered that the 9-5 lifestyle is not for everyone, and more often than not, it’s a model that creates burnout and places us into a rut.

The standard 40-hour work week came into practice shortly after World War II, but the ideas were present long before. The process of clocking in, completing a task, and then clocking out was productive for that time period but is now outdated. The 9-5 work day first sprouted from labor unions seeking a more sustainable way to make ends meet. But that is no longer the case: the workday should be ever-changing. The times are changing, and we need to as well. 

The traditional workday does more harm than good. People will work the majority of their lives and many will barely make a livable wage. Creativity is all too frequently crushed as individuals are forced to conform to societal standards. This lifestyle has overwhelmed people for decades and an update is long overdue. A 2019 study by the International Workplace Group discovered that 80% of workers were willing to turn down a job that did not offer a flexible work schedule for a position that did. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world discovered that the 9-5 was not the only way to productively work. Businesses were able to explore new methods including reduced hours and shorter work weeks. Individuals could complete the same job at home and along with this change, people were able to explore creative outlets without the crippling weight of being at the office all day. Even at school, with reduced hours, students saw that they were able explore more creative options and make the most of their time.  We were able to connect to our peers via technology and embraced new ways to become entrepreneurs. 

Today, teenagers are seeking creativity and new ways to make money. From creating artwork to providing landscaping services, our generation has the opportunity to use technology and creativity to fight the monotonous life faced by generations before us. Instead, teens today are fighting for the careers that we want rather than the ones that older generations expect us to fill when they step down. Our careers should adapt to us, not us to them.