Redefining Success: Millennials’ Perspective vs. Boomers’ Approach

Millennials belong to the age group that created memes and spent time playing their video games, but today they grew to represent the largest part of the workforce. When applying for jobs, Millennials always tend to reveal their purpose saying: “I want this position to gain more experience and to develop new skills.” It seems that money comes last in the Millennials’ list of what matters. Behind this mindset, there is, indeed, a new reframing of what it means to be successful. 

 Is Success Another Social Construct?

Millennials were born between the 1980s and 2000s*, so they grew into maturity in an ever-changing world. They were told by society that success is purely measured by a university diploma, your position at work, your paycheck, your house, the kind of car you drive, and the brand of clothes or possessions that you own. Even your partner can become another property to brag about in our world of things. You have to tick all these boxes to get the pat on the shoulder; then you can say you did it. You should sacrifice everything, even your happiness and purpose, to conform to this new definition of success.

 Is Success a Vicious Cycle?

How is it called success if you have to lose yourself in chasing the illusory luxury of worldly possessions?

We wake up every day with the desire to get filthy rich; we try to catch the bus while thinking about the paycheck at the end of the month; we get stuck in a job we don’t like to pay the bills but also to ally for our unhappiness we spend more on trivialities. We need more money to spend more, depleting our energy on what people call “success”. Realistically, we can’t recognize success without a sense of achievement. Yet, in society, success equals wealth; however, Millennials contend that the less you have, the happier and more successful you’ll be.

The Millennial Mantra: Less is More

“God d**n it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don’t need.” Tyler Durden_Fight Club

This 20th-century movie, Fight Club, reflects on the issue of success and failure in the modern world of consumerism. In this quote, the protagonist Durden addresses other men to open their eyes to how “the things you own will end up owning you.” He revealed that success becomes another by-product sold to humans and the cost is their potential, passion, and dream. This instance captures the mindset of a whole generation that prioritizes their inner peace and well-being instead of relentlessly chasing money to spend on possessions. The freedom experienced in having “less” shows that to connect success to material possessions is simply misguiding.

The Millennials’ Meaning of Success 

What matters the most to you is what evaluates your success and failure. For Millennials the self comes first; what you aspire to be, and what you are passionate about is the roadmap that will guide you to find the right path. One of the key traits of this generation is valuing passion as the key to being successful. If you are doing the job you love, connecting with the people you like, or majoring in the field you are passionate about, then you are unlocking your full potential. Shutting others’ opinions, of what matters, out to you is the key to finding your path to success.

Oumayma Mejri – Tunisia