Skip to navigationSkip to content

I've been a 'millennial therapist' for more than 5 years—and this is their No. 1 complaint

By CNBC

Despite the stereotypes, millennials are actually a smart and highly ambitious group of individuals. But there are a lot of anxieties that hold them back. A psychotherapist shares what they bring uRead full story

Comments

  • Also share to
  • These concerns, and the advice being offered, is relevant for anyone with a pulse; this idea that Baby Boomers, Gen-X and now Millennials and Gen-Z are completely different species is a media-driven narrative that obscures the larger issues impacting all generations: an overall economic and social system that exploits the individual on behalf of industry, that decides someone's value and disposes of the individual when they hit a fake glass ceiling. Maximizing profits while looking for younger and

    These concerns, and the advice being offered, is relevant for anyone with a pulse; this idea that Baby Boomers, Gen-X and now Millennials and Gen-Z are completely different species is a media-driven narrative that obscures the larger issues impacting all generations: an overall economic and social system that exploits the individual on behalf of industry, that decides someone's value and disposes of the individual when they hit a fake glass ceiling. Maximizing profits while looking for younger and cheaper has been the same since the Baby Boomers ascended to industry leadership in the early 1980s. They created a system which turned on them in the crash of '88 when "jobs for life" disappeared and the "younger, cheaper" business model appeared. Tech itself revels in ageist culture and is non-apologetic about it; gig culture was created to exploit tail-end Gen-Xers and Millennials because it denies them the economic security of retirement plans and health insurance. Millennials' fears are not new, they've just been rebranded for a younger generation.

  • “The only “right” path is the path that feels right to you.” I agree wholeheartedly. Own your decisions, no regrets. Mistakes are learnings to enrich your journey.

  • I'm not at all surprised that millennials are coming to therapists with concerns about money and retirement. What I want to know is - are they being trained for that? If in the first one or two sessions a patient is revealed to mostly be concerned about money, would they not just be better served talking to a financial adviser?

  • As a millennial, I'm absolutely concerned about money. Thank goodness I got that advanced degree...so I can give half my higher salary to student loans, thus feeling like I wasted a decade of my life because I could have made this much take-home money with no loans before the degree!! I'll be paid off when I'm 63 years old. No way I'm encouraging my children to go to college. I certainly can't afford to save for them and a degree is an expensive and useless piece of paper now that the tech industry is dominating.

  • I’m getting tired of hearing all the vacuous, self-absorbed stereotypes of millennials. All of them I know are like the ones described by the author: smart, eager and thoughtful

  • Every generation feels “special” or “unique” in the choices they face. It will never be easy. Just make one... try it & get use to it. Life is about choices.. lots of them & nothing wrong with making some wrong ones....get use to it...

  • None of these decisions are unique. They have been around for generations, yet today they are socialized more than previously. Therapy works, but it’s not only for millennials. Honestly, they are the current age group that often and always has sought out therapy the most.

  • Decision Fatigue is real.

  • Two decades ago when analysts were first looking at the impact of the internet on consumer empowerment and Knowledge Management, one of the first things we pointed out was how there was going to be information overload. The knowledge Management and the decision-making required to evaluate and process all of the information for business and economic or financial models in the corporate world is no different than what individuals face for their career and Life choices. What the author is identifying

    Two decades ago when analysts were first looking at the impact of the internet on consumer empowerment and Knowledge Management, one of the first things we pointed out was how there was going to be information overload. The knowledge Management and the decision-making required to evaluate and process all of the information for business and economic or financial models in the corporate world is no different than what individuals face for their career and Life choices. What the author is identifying as decision fatigue is one of the primary factors of corporates globally looking to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning. The amount of data that is available in the world is growing geometrically or even logarithmically. The ability to identify, classify and leverage all of that information for decision-making was becoming daunting and we are only at the precipice of the iceberg. Far better tools are going to be needed to put structure, discoverability and semantic relevance to unstructured data. at a human and personal level, it will also be necessary to think through how to manage and cope with this a lot of information. For career and financial management, financial literacy and understanding the impact of even some of the smallest choices we make today suddenly become important for the future. if policymakers in positions of power would actually understand that...

  • Two cents from a struggling millennial to fellow millennials (or anyone): 1.) Meditate, which will help you slow down your decision-making process for clarity’s sake (much like how Kobe Bryant described he could “read” his opponent’s move before it happened); and 2.) Pick up a couple of useful mental models to better identify your heuristics.

  • This is a very thoughtful and accurate piece, especially in light of the perpetuated stereotypes of Millennials, creating a distinct Millennial phobia.

    Millennials are in fact navigating the very new world we’ve created, and are the first generation to do so from life’s square one. It’s almost like being the eldest sibling, experiencing first all the bumps and bruises of life that that their younger siblings hopefully learn from.

    The choice fatigue factor is definitely real. George Carlin was

    This is a very thoughtful and accurate piece, especially in light of the perpetuated stereotypes of Millennials, creating a distinct Millennial phobia.

    Millennials are in fact navigating the very new world we’ve created, and are the first generation to do so from life’s square one. It’s almost like being the eldest sibling, experiencing first all the bumps and bruises of life that that their younger siblings hopefully learn from.

    The choice fatigue factor is definitely real. George Carlin was quite right when he said, “... too many choices America, it’s not healthy!” Though what the writer describes about how Millennials are handling it is rather universal. When there is a menu 10 pages long with size 8 font, indecision and disappointment often follows.

  • Interesting. But, the problem does not lie with the generation in question. It lies with faulty and fuzzy thinking. There is a tendency from boomers to present that assertions are and make an arguement. This is faulty reasoning. Choices are not the problem. Expectations are. The question that ancients ask and i ask still, ' what do you want?' each person must have a standard from which to judge whether an idea, a life style, a career, etc is good for them. The statement, 'do what feels right', is

    Interesting. But, the problem does not lie with the generation in question. It lies with faulty and fuzzy thinking. There is a tendency from boomers to present that assertions are and make an arguement. This is faulty reasoning. Choices are not the problem. Expectations are. The question that ancients ask and i ask still, ' what do you want?' each person must have a standard from which to judge whether an idea, a life style, a career, etc is good for them. The statement, 'do what feels right', is telling. 'Right' demands a standard not a feeling. Because all ideas have conseqences a reasonable standard set by wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discretion is critical to clear out muddled and fuzzy thinking. Example, react vs. respond. Respond is the root word for responsible which brings thoughtfulness into the action. React is quick and hasty thought, almost that the boss made me do it. This too, is a choice. (And i have made more than my share). Being and taking on our response is vital to maturity. Again it gives a direction because it is rooted in a standard from which to judge. Perfection, has been tossed and thrust at every generation. Most define the word as 'flawless'. This i think comes from a flawed view of humans. The ancients defined and lived perfection as ' mature'. As we all can see flawlessness is not remotely attainable but maturity is and in that instills hope. This brings about a clarity and happiness. These human aspirations are only up to each individual for themselves.

  • This is at least partially the end result of a garbage education system that's treated them with kid gloves their entire lives. Participation trophies and such.

  • It's simple. Find a way to make doing what you love, pay...😍😘😇

  • Who knew Decision Fatigue would be the #1 issue for millennials (everyone)? “I have too many choices and I can’t decide what to do. What if I make the wrong choice?” The desire to make confident Life choices without regret matters a lot to people! And yet, where are the classes to teach decision-making?

  • The idea that financial worries of the millennial generation are no different than previous is not true. There is documented research depicting the failures of wage growth and buying power tied to the radical shift of corporate ideology towards shareholder wealth maximization and globalization happening around the 1970s. Unearned income is causing a huge disparity between income classes. The fact that the middle class is now the smallest income class for the first time in American history as of about

    The idea that financial worries of the millennial generation are no different than previous is not true. There is documented research depicting the failures of wage growth and buying power tied to the radical shift of corporate ideology towards shareholder wealth maximization and globalization happening around the 1970s. Unearned income is causing a huge disparity between income classes. The fact that the middle class is now the smallest income class for the first time in American history as of about the year 2015 negates any argument against the millennial financial woes.

  • The complaint is too many choices. . . .

    And the solution is to decide and move forward. Nothing is that big a deal. Get over yourself.

  • So their biggest complaint is I ambitiously don’t know what I want to do. Ok...

  • If you liked this article checkout the book Millenial Whisperer by Chris Tuff

  • When you give the government the responsibility to regulate your work life and your retirement it will certainly give you cause to worry about your future.

  • Welcome to life if your net worth is under 10 million everyone's worried about money these days... No new news there

  • ‘The only right path is the path that feels right to you’. Very true. We all fail but the best way to manage uncertainties is to ‘learn to fail’ from those decisions and bounce back.

  • 100% agree. Why do you think we spend so much time optimizing our lives — so we don’t have to make decisions.

  • I'm 54 and a parent of 3 millennials and I'm concerned about having enough money to retire. I really think the typical American can no longer expect to retire like our parents did. My parents retired in 1995 at age 65. I anticipate I will work up until my death.

  • Every millennial needs to read this.

  • Which is what I am feeling now overwhelmed by choices. I am a engineer and I get up to 7 or 8 job offers all over the country every year. Some of the jobs are amazing once in a life opportunity that no one should have to turn down. But try buying a house and enjoying life when before you know it you have a another offer you can’t refuse. Even worse when you marry a engineer and you both have job offers you can’t refuse in different states. Just when I was getting ready to settle in a new place they

    Which is what I am feeling now overwhelmed by choices. I am a engineer and I get up to 7 or 8 job offers all over the country every year. Some of the jobs are amazing once in a life opportunity that no one should have to turn down. But try buying a house and enjoying life when before you know it you have a another offer you can’t refuse. Even worse when you marry a engineer and you both have job offers you can’t refuse in different states. Just when I was getting ready to settle in a new place they offer you something else you can’t say no to. It’s very stressful and even lose money in paying rent or if you were trying to build a home.

  • Nice

  • See, this is why simplifying your life in everyway and adopting the slightest touch of minimalism can help a lot. Minimize the choices yourself and make the objective decision no matter what you want to do.

  • Millennials ages 23 - 37 this is a good little read for anyone trying to understand us in a way

  • Maybe I ought go for a therapist. But I’m not a millennial, suffer big John amen.

  • Very intriguing insight on what I also struggle with.

  • This is a good read!

  • Just google it millennials... 😈

  • We are all afraid if failure having more choices just worsen it.

Want more conversations like this?

Join the Quartz community for all the intelligence, without the noise.

App Store BadgeGoogle Play Badge
Leaderboard Screenshot

A community of leaders, subject matter experts, and curious minds bringing nuance back to how we talk about the news.

Editors' Picks Screenshot

No content overload: our editors will curate the most notable and discussion-worthy pieces for you every day.

Share Screenshot

Don’t just read the story, tell it: contribute your ideas and experience to the dialogue.