One reason that women are burning out early in their careers is that they have simply reached their breaking point after spending their childhoods developing well-rounded resumes. “These women worked like crazy in school, and in college, and then they get into the workforce and they are exhausted,” says Melanie Shreffler of the youth marketing blog Ypulse.What few people still in college, or post-college education of either sex realize is that work is very, very different than academic achievement. In the education machine, effort matters. In the work world, or rather, the productive work world, only results matter.
Many also didn’t think of their lives beyond landing the initial first job. “They need to learn life is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Kelly Cutrone, president of People’s Revolution PR and author of “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You.” Ypulse’s Shreffler adds, “They expected things to be better now that they’ve arrived and made it. But instead they are starting over on the bottom rung and still striving. You can’t see the end of the tunnel because they are so many twists and turns. It’s impossible to see what life will be like in 20 years these days. It’s hard to look just 3-4 years in the future. They don’t know what they are striving for, which makes it really hard to move forward.”
Even those who did plot out their lives past the initial first career have unrealistic expectations about full-time employment. It’s not as if these women expected their jobs to be parties and good times, but many underestimated the actual day-to-day drudgery. “College is nothing more than a baby-sitting service. These students are totally unprepared for the real world. The reality for women who want to work in PR is that they are going to be working with 24 catty [women] who will backstab and compete with them. No one will say thank you. You will eat lunch at 5 p.m. It sucks and it’s hard work,” says Cutrone.
This is something that those who are accustomed to "succeeding" by receiving brownie points and pats on the head find shocking and demoralizing. Since young women are far more successful in the academic world than young men, it should be no surprise that they find the transition to the real world more difficult even though they are statistically much more likely to gravitate towards non-performance jobs in government and large corporations.
I found this quote to be rather amusing: "Ultimately these women are going through the difficult realization that they may have to redefine their goals and come up with different measures of success in order to thrive in the corporate world, says Thompson."
What? She can't possibly mean that simply showing up to every
What I found particularly interesting, and totally unsurprising, is that there is no call for these young "burned-out" women to man up. When a young man drops out of the high school-college-work program, no matter at what stage he drops out, it is blamed on his immaturity. When a young woman drops out, it is a consequence of societal changes placing unfair pressure on a high-achiever.
The sad fact is that playing apocalyptic video games will likely be better preparation for the global economy to come than straight As, a Masters in Management, and job as a junior executive in Human Resources.