Society puts pressure on young people to live their life by standards that were created many years ago. Graduate. Get a stable job. Buy a car. Get married. Buy a house. Have children. Retire.
Not fitting that typical stereotype was the key to be labelled a rebel. But we are in 2015 and we are living what I like to call a “lifestyle revolution” . People are realizing that they want to get to know themselves and the world before choosing their career (or spending exorbitant amounts of money in college degrees just for the sake of it). Other people want to live in many different places before settling down, after all the world became a much smaller place on the last decade. And that finding love, getting married and having children shouldn’t be things to do in a rush, or to put a “best before” date on.
Because of that realization, a big change is also happening on the way people work. Becoming a free-lancer or contractor is now highly attractive to many people, as they can choose their own clients and projects. Having autonomy and flexibility to organize your own calendar and approach work from your personal agenda are amongst the top reasons why some of my friends decided to quit their jobs and become free-lancers.
There is also a growth of flexible work places. The typical concept working-hours and office is going through a transformation. People are now able to pack their bags and go work from Thailand for a week, or those who are night-owls and more creative when the city sleeps, can now work at their prime time (2 a.m).
Last week I was in Madrid, and 4 out of the 9 days, I spent working from incredible little cafes. One of the nights I Skyped my mum in Brazil, and I explained to her, that I was working from Madrid, and she was very, very confused. She asked questions like: “Why are you working on your holidays?” and “Is your boss OK with you taking the days off so soon?”. She was trying to understand how exactly I was in Madrid, working, miles away from my desk.
It is something that most parents are not able to wrap their heads around, and they probably won’t be able to do it too soon. It’s not their fault. They are the product of a work culture where to be a good employee you needed to be in the office 30 minutes before your shift and leave after everybody else. Where flexibility was a one-way road and new employees were expected to do crazy hours and wait for at least a year before requesting holidays in order to gain the trust of the employer.
Change is here, and that societal stereotype is falling fast. Let go of the societal pressure. Go travel, explore and discover. Or go do the degree you dream about. But do it for yourself, and not because that it what is expected from you.