First, a story:
Two Gen Y’ers are having a drink at a local restaurant. Well, one Gen Y’er is. The other one was lured in by the smell of fried chicken. While munching on crispy, fried goodness and sipping a cool ale, respectively, the two twenty-somethings strike up a friendly conversation which (naturally) turns into a discussion about careers.
Gen Y’er #1: I work in finance, but I love to snow board. I wish I lived in California where I can snowboard all of the time. I know I wouldn’t make a ton of money, but I think I would be happy.
Gen Y’er #2: Really? Well, why don’t you move and go snowboard since you know that’s what you want to do?
Gen Y’er #1: Well, how would I explain that to my family? All of my life they told me to get a good job. They won’t understand that I want to snowboard. I’m thinking about applying for grad school in California. My family will support me getting an MBA. Then I can snowboard too!
Gen Y’er #2: You want to go into major debt so that you can justify your decision? Ummm…whose life are you living, here?
This was my Friday night, and I am sure I am not the only twenty-something that had this discussion. In fact, I’m sure this is a conversation between young adults that regularly takes place at bars and restaurants all over the world. I often wonder which is stronger, our fear of personal failure? Or our fear of disappointing our families?