By Jessie Bruner
With an increasing number of Millennials entering the work place, researchers are finding that more and more millennial women are burning out. And they’re burning out fast. Faster, in fact, than any other generation in U.S. history. Researchers are finding that millennials are finding their work unfulfilling, mundane, and uninteresting.
Women in the work place, on average, burn out of their jobs at age 28. It seems a pretty young age to give up on one’s career. So why are millennial women burning out faster than their male counterparts?
For starters, let’s talk expectations. Millennials by nature have much expected of them in the upcoming and fast-paced world. A generation known for their technological skills and constant connection with social media are finding that they are required them to maintain that constant connection with their jobs.
This means working 24/7; tweeting, texting, IMing, and facebooking have become a norm in the work place. Being expected to keep in constant contact with an employer, a co-worker, or a client could lead to exhaustion, fatigue, and frustration. In addition to their jobs, women with families find it difficult to balance work life with family time. Spending all day and all night on technological devices make it almost impossible to fulfill the duties of young, busy mother.
Professor Scott Reinardy did a study that "examined the numbers through gender socialization theory, which claims that society puts certain expectations on people based on their gender from a very young age. Where women are more often expected to provide the majority of family care and raise children, men are expected to be the breadwinners and put work obligations before family.” So when women take on responsibilities at work, they feel overloaded, overwhelmed, and overworked.
Research shows that women have a tendency to take more upon themselves; to become people pleasers, if you will. In addition to these feelings, women in the upcoming generations may feel that since feminism is taking such a high importance in today’s society, they have to prove their worth in their work places. This could in turn lead to them taking on more work, only to increase their feelings of being burnt out.
Yet another reason women are finding it difficult to continue their careers after 30 is that they are uncertain of the future. It is hard to imagine where they’ll be in five years, let alone ten or twenty. With the future always changing, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When the future is unclear, it is hard to focus on what millennials really want. This makes careers uninteresting and, well, boring for the fast-paced millennial women.
So what is the best solution for a millennial woman who feels that she is burning her candle at both ends? Take a break. Realize that you’re burning out and heading down the wrong road. Working a job that you don’t love, in combination with trying to uphold your other duties and responsibilities is the quickest way to burning out.
Do something you love, and do it often. If you can make a career out of it, more power to you. Many women report that taking a break, scaling back on self-given responsibilities, and learning to say “no” was the key to saving them from a burn out crisis.
So take time to reflect, breathe, relax, and reevaluate how you want your future to go. Be more intentional about your next steps in life. Decide what you want and go for it.