Brett McKenzie

I Worked My Butt Off in School and All I Got Was This Crappy Economy

When I graduated in 2004, our commencement speaker was a female Hewlett-Packard executive I had never heard of (no, it was not Carly Fiorina; she was otherwise occupied with giving the HP board a four-page list of reasons to fire her). She talked about the world we were inheriting from our parents and the difference we would make if we worked hard and shared our innovative ideas with the world (or was that the Saved by the Bell commencement speech? Same difference).

We sprang forth from our folding chairs, proudly collecting our diplomas and tossing our caps, ready to share our ideas with the world and max out our 401ks and decorate our cubicles with grown-up toys, like Rubik's cubes and business cardholders. We printed our GPAs on our resumes and pledged "I will work SO hard for you" in job interviews and begged professors who hardly remembered us to act as references for professions they had no concept of (in retrospect, asking the Colonial History professor to vouch for your graphic design prowess may not have been the best decision). We celebrated our first job offers with cases of Old Style and bought Target furniture and learned how to set our alarm clocks.

And 19 months later, we found new jobs. And 19 months after that, we found newer jobs. Because that is what "Millennials" (or Generation Y, Children of the Boomers, or what have you), do, according to a March 2008 study titled "Millennials at Work." Approximately every 1.6 years, perhaps thanks to a lackluster bonus, a stinky coworker, or an impossible boss, those of us born between 1977 and 1988 decide, "well I can certainly do better than this," and reactivate our accounts.

Until now.

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