Skip to navigationSkip to content

The reason why millennials aren’t happy at work

Reuters/Jason Reed
Slow down.
  • Aimee Groth
By Aimee Groth

Journalist, Author, Strategist

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Young people today are hard on themselves. They have unrealistic expectations and are constantly comparing themselves to their peers on social media. Needless to say, they’re not very happy at work.

Despite their role in changing the very nature of work itself, millennials are operating within an outdated paradigm: that our careers peak in our late thirties and forties.

The Harvard Business Review offers a solution to cure this angst. Millennials should view their careers as spanning several decades, with the expectation of peaking in their sixties and seventies rather than thirties and forties. The rapid clip of innovation and pace of improvement in healthcare technology means that millennials will live longer than any generation in history, projected at 100+ years, according to the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. That also means more time to evolve. A career that fits someone in their thirties and forties may not suit decades later.

HBR cites the work of Stanford Center on Longevity’s Laura Carstensen, who gave a TED talk (“Older people are happier“) about how longer lifespans should improve life at all ages, not just at the end. Many people are now working longer for economic reasons, but research shows that working longer can make people happier and healthier.

While millennials may be the most privileged generation in history, they don’t appreciate the real privilege they have: time.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.